8 Rap Songs That Sampled David Bowie
Rock legend and cultural icon David Bowie's influence struck a chord with some of hip hop's finest. After releasing his 25th studio album Blackstar on Friday (Jan. 8), the legendary Starman passed away at 69 on Jan. 10 after losing an 18-month battle to cancer.
1. Jay Z "Takeover"
Hov took Bowie's 1975 hit "Fame" -- which hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 -- for The Blueprint cut, a diss track aimed at fellow MCs Nas and Mobb Deep's Prodigy.
2. Vanilla Ice "Ice Ice Baby"
The beat for Vanilla Ice's breakout smash referenced Bowie and Queen's "Under Pressure."
3. Crooked I "Rap or Die"
The Long Beach rapper and member of the hip-hop group Slaughterhouse (alongside Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz and Royce da 5'9") swiped the eerie melody for "Rap or Die" from Bowie and Trevor Jones' "Opening Titles Including Underground," which appeared on the soundtrack for the 1986 Jim Henson flick Labyrinth.
4. Public Enemy "Night of the Living Baseheads"
The hip-hop group who rose to fame in the late '80s weaved in Bowie's aforementioned "Fame" for a track off their 1988 sophomore effort It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. The sample appears at the 2:47 mark below.
5. MC Lyte "Put It On You"
The Queens MC employs Bowie's "Fame" for her steamy love note, which called her 1998 Seven & Seven LP home.
6. Ol' Dirty Bastard "Dirty Run"
The Wu-Tang Clan MC slaps his distinct bars on the strummy Bowie "Fame" beat for "Dirty Run," an entry from ODB's 2005 posthumous mixtape album Osirus.
7. EPMD "It Wasn't Me, It Was The Fame"
Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith mixed Bowie's "Fame" with The Stylistics' "People Make The World Go Round" for the grand finale of their 1989 LP Unfinished Business.
8. Puff Daddy & The Family feat. Notorious B.I.G. and Mase "Been Around The World"
Puff lifted Bowie's "Let's Dance" for his 1997 jet setter anthem featuring Biggie and Mase. The Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 was the title song of Bowie's fifteenth studio effort, released in 1983. Sidenote: Craig David also released his own dance track called "Hot Stuff (Let's Dance)" in 2007, directly inspired by Bowie's funky jam.