The 10 Best Rock Samples In Hip-Hop

The 10 Best Rock Samples In Hip-Hop

Rocks Off just finished reading Ian Christe's 2007 Van Halen biography, Everybody Wants Some, which chronicles the band's history from the Van Halen boys' entry into the U.S., the upbringing of David Lee Roth, and devastating, fatal 1985 crash into Mount Sammy Hagar. Sad stuff if you're a Roth purist, like we are.

Another thing we read was that the band was one of the first rock groups (other than Aerosmith) to be sampled by a rap artist. Tone Loc's 1989 hit "Wild Thing" features the riff from Halen's 1978 classic-rock staple "Jamie's Cryin'." Milli Vanilli also sampled the same song, but they sucked. At least Tone Loc was in Blank Check, which makes him an infinitely better person.

Van Halen only chargeed a base rate for Loc to use that riff in his No. 2 pop hit, but after they saw how much money can be made with the right sampling skill, it got a lot more expensive to pilfer Eddie Van Halen's guitar prowess for rhyming purposes. Probably the second best use of a Van Halen sample was 2 Live Crew using "Ain't Talking 'Bout Love" interpolated with The McCoys' "Hang On Sloopy" in "The Fuck Shop." Wholesome shit.

This whole thing got Rocks Off into a week-long odyssey looking into some other instances of rock bands as sampled in hip-hop, which brings us to this list of ten of our favorites. For a proto-metal band from Birmingham, England, you would be surprised how rap-friendly Black Sabbath is.

The 10 Best Rock Samples In Hip-Hop

10. Ol' Dirty Bastard, "I Want Pussy"

Samples: Blood, Sweat & Tears, "You've Made Me So Very Happy"

9. Kanye West, "Stronger"

Samples: Daft Punk, "Harder Better Faster Stronger"

8. Geto Boys, "Gangsta of Love"

Samples: Steve Miller Band, "The Joker"

7. The Jungle Brothers, "Beeds on a String"

Samples: Black Sabbath, "Behind the Wall of Sleep"

6. Blackalicious, "Blazing Arrow"

Samples: Harry Nilsson, "Me and My Arrow"

The 10 Best Rock Samples In Hip-Hop

5. Eminem, "Goin' Through Changes"

Samples: Black Sabbath, "Changes"

4. Beastie Boys "Rhymin' & Stealin"

Samples: Black Sabbath, "Sweet Leaf"; Led Zeppelin, "Going To California"; The Clash " I Fought the Law"

3. Public Enemy, "She Watch Channel Zero?"

Samples: Slayer, "Angel of Death"

2. A Tribe Called Quest, "Can I Kick It?"

Samples: Ian Dury, "What a Waste"; Lou Reed, "Walk On the Wild Side"

1. Jay-Z, "Takeover"

Samples: The Doors, "Five to One"

What are your favorites? Let's turn the comments section into a battle of the samples of sorts.

Follow Rocks Off on Facebook and on Twitter at @HPRocksOff.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >