by Jermaine Roberts
Michael Jackson is the greatest, musical entertainer of all time! I know people have their feelings about the person but the singer himself belongs on the Mount Rushmore of musicians! Everyone knows at least one song of his whether it be from the Jackson 5 (ABC), the Jacksons (Can You Feel It) or his solo act (the entire Thriller album). This is evident by how much, in all facets of music, he is sampled! In this instance, we’re gonna strictly deal with hip hop. So, with all this said, here are the top 5 MJ Hip Hop Samples:
Artist: Naughty by Nature
Samples from: ABC
This is probably the most popular Michael Jackson-sampled song ever. A close second is Kris Kross' Jump , which samples the Jackson Five's I Want You Back. Instead of reciting your standard "A,B,C(s), these brothers from Jersey show up talking about other people’s (ummmm) property, which resulted in us being treated to one of the most popular hip hop cuts of all-time! Twenty-four years later and guess what ,we’re still down with it! Don’t believe me, just have this song drop. I’ll be the guy rapping the whole track in the back!
Samples: Dancing Machine
Admittedly, this J-Dilla beat isn’t his best MJ sample. No,that award would go to It’s Time: Donut of the Heart, which samples All I Do is Think of You, but I felt that was cheating being that it’s an instrumental & you’re essentially listening to the Jackson through its' entirety. Instead, Q-Tip goes full MJ on Move! The Dancing Machine beat over this track, that dropped back in 2008, gives Kamaal the Abstract one of his best verses in years. To top it all off, the video is a tribute to Michael Jackson’s Rock With You and that's a win all around!
Artist: De La Soul
Samples: I Can’t Help It
I’m still upset that De La Soul's discography is not fully available on Spotify, but that’s another rant for another time. Prince Paul flips the track, from MJ's Off the Wall ,into a smooth banger. De La Soul is probably more known for Me, Myself and I, which can start a whole tangent of Parliament Funkadelic samples, but this single off of Buhloone Mindstate stands its' ground amongst the rest of their catalogue.
2.It Ain't Hard to Tell
Samples: Human Nature
Bruh,this was tough! I continually flip flopped on this song being either number one or two on this list! I agonized over its' placement as I listened to this entry ,off my personal playlist, and imagined I was hanging out with SWV on the beach! In the end, this classic track, off of Nas' first and best album Illmatic, would be my number two or, 1B in this instance. With Large Professor on the production, this may be Nas’ best song in his catalouge, considering all the samples and quotes that come from it. I think DJ Premier could scratch an entire beat using nothing but Nas' lyrics and make an album of it!
1.All That I Got is You
Artist: Ghostface Killah
Samples: Maybe Tomorrow
Now you understand how tough it is! In the end, I took great story over great lyrics. Ghostface’s autobiographical account of his childhood is one of the most gripping tracks in hip hop. RZA took a ballad, that isn’t the happiest, and transported people to a dark place that they only heard about but never bother to pay attention to in detail. It’s considered one of the best songs in the genre’s history. The Jackson 5 definitely smiled upon this!
Special Shout to some honorable mentions:
2Pac- Letter te My Unborn
Puff Daddy and The Family- All About The Benjamins
For your audio pleasure, I have my Spotify playlist for public consumption, including some R&B tracks that technically are not eligible for this list (what you know about Portrait?!).
Otherwise, you can find me @JayNDouglas through various social medias. Have a good day!