How Ms. Lauryn Hill Became One of 2018's Most Sampled Artists
Ms. Lauryn Hill, as she’s now officially known, has famously released only one solo studio album, 1998’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. But artists including Kanye West, J. Cole, JAY-Z and DJ Khaled have kept her sound -- and that of her original group, the Fugees -- alive over the years by sampling her music in their own songs.
In 2018, as she celebrates the 20th anniversary of the album with a summer tour, a new generation of artists is making use of her iconic work.
“Nice for What” Samples “Ex-Factor”
As a solo artist, Drake regularly makes hit songs, but this track’s sinuous sample of Hill singing on her aching 1999 ballad unquestionably helped it secure the five nonconsecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 that it has notched to date.
“Be Careful” Samples “Ex-Factor”
When the fun-loving Cardi B needed to show some heart, she channeled Hill in this song about infidelity, which hit No. 11 on the Hot 100. (“Be Careful” and “Ex-Factor” are rumored to take aim at, respectively, Cardi’s fiance, Offset, and Hill’s Fugees bandmate and onetime paramour, Wyclef Jean.)
King “Bad Boy Back” Samples The Fugees, “Fu-Gee-La”
King Combs' 90’s Baby mixtape follows in his father Sean Combs’ footsteps by sampling a Fugees classic. “Bad Boy Back” repurposes Hill’s melodic “Fu-Gee-La” hook into a silky backdrop for King’s swaggy raps aimed at restoring prominence to the house his dad built.
A$AP “Purity” featuring Frank Ocean Samples “I Gotta Find Peace of Mind”
For the closer to new album TESTING, A$AP Rocky revisits a deep live-album track: “I Gotta Find Peace of Mind.” The nine-minute original is a meditation on spiritual yearning; on his track, he confronts the curse of loved ones dying as his success grows.