The hip-hop world is a less than sensible place - lots of times, you're even required to clarify when bad means bad and when bad means good- so once a week we're going to get with a rapper and ask them to explain things. Have something you always wanted to ask a rapper? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Week's Rapper: Fullmetal FDot
This Week's Subject(s): Picking Out The Best Movie Samples From Rap Songs
Ask A Rapper: In the beginning of your "Open the Door" video, you're standing there watching - what's the name of that movie? Anyway, you then take a line from that, or from Robin Hood, really, and flip it into the chorus. So here's the question: Lots of rap songs use samples from either songs, but what are the best rap songs that use samples from movies? Give me the best six.
Fullmetal [laughs]: Y'know, the funny thing about that song in relation to the film clip in the beginning of the video is that I actually wrote and recorded that record before I was introduced to the film. Which, by the way, is a brilliant short film called Death To The Tinman. I actually caught the film by chance, and once I saw it I knew I had to incorporate it into the video somehow.
As for my list of the six best rap songs with movie samples in my opinion, well, the very first record that came to mind, which is probably because I literally just finished jamming this, is:
Jay-Z's "What More Can I Say," with the sample from Gladiator in the beginning. It seems like a lot of people have mixed feelings about the Black Album, but I've always dug it. I mean, it ain't no Reasonable Doubt... but it's dope. And he murdered the song itself. That song single-handedly could have made his retirement incredible... if he would have actually retired. Nonetheless, the way he ended that song was perfect.
Staying on the topic of Reasonable Doubt, I don't know if it counts as a legitimate "sample," but Jay's recreation of Tony Montana's initial dope-dealing offer scene from the almighty Scarface during the intro to "Can't Knock The Hustle" is getting that record put on my list. I mean, it's the intro song to one of my favorite and best hip-hop albums ever. Need I explain further?... Exactly, moving on...
[laughs] In case that song doesn't count since it's not an actual sample, this next record is nothing but audio from movies...and another Jay. [laughs] Electronica's "Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind (The Pledge)," that joint blows my mind every time I listen to it. I'm convinced that dude has some sort of mystical rap powers.
The fact the song is, like, nine minutes of him spazzing out over memorable pieces of the score to arguably my single favorite movie, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, in between random audio clips from another personal favorite of mine, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, makes this one a no-brainer.
Moving on, MF Doom's "Beef Raps" with the sample from Wild Style in the intro has to make the list. Doom is one of my favorite rappers for a few reasons. For starters, he's dope as hell. Two, I love how genuine and comfortably underground he is, I really sort of idolize his career. See, I'm a huge comic geek, and the fact his whole persona is created in the image of the greatest villain in the history of villains wins me over without a doubt. [laughs]
Also, "Beef Raps" itself is awesome for two reasons: The song is great, and Meatwad from Aqua Teen Hunger Force, which is my favorite cartoon, raps it at the end of the Danger Doom album. How could you not love that?
Mos Def's Primo-produced "Mathematics" is my next pick. Although it's minute and easy to miss during the hook you can hear DJ Premier scratching in a clip from the film Ghostbusters. It's really nothing more than a quote saying "What are we talking about here?" [laughs] I didn't notice it myself until a friend of mine who knows that movie from front to back pointed it out. I'm a huge fan of Primo's work and that may be one of my favorite records he's produced, and of course Mos always does his thing. He's like the coolest guy in the world to me, seriously.
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Last but not least... okay, definitely least [laughs], is Ludacris's "Number One Spot". Now, I'm not the biggest fan of his work, but I really liked this beat when it came out. I've always thought the Austin Powers movies were funny and I appreciated the way Luda threw in and flipped all the movie references.
Follow Fullmetal FDot on Twitter at @FullmetalFDot.