If you’re working on putting together some new sounds and you want to do something you haven’t tried before, sampling is always worth considering. While you can always find hot instrumentals elsewhere or create them on your own, nothing quite affects a beat or a new track like a recognizable bit of music from a known artist.
And really, sampling known music isn’t so different from a lot of other options you have online today, provided there aren’t problems with the rights, etc. You can find rap beats for sale, pay to have original beats constructed, etc. But you can also scour your own memories, the internet, and older eras of music to find just the right classic tracks to work into the mix. In this area, we have a few suggestions.
When you think about The Beatles, rap is about the last genre that comes to mind. There’s a sort of innocence and almost stripped-down quality to their sound, despite its brilliance and intricacy, that almost seems a tad goofy for hip hop. Yet it’s that same no-frills quality that makes The Beatles’ music surprisingly adaptable. There are hip hop versions of songs like “Come Together” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” already that prove these sounds can be sampled. And while it’s not hip hop, modern guitar legend Gary Clark Jr. even covered “Come Together” for the Justice League movie, and made himself a bit of a hit out of it. There’s a lot that can be done with arguably the most famous musical group of all time, and sampling for hip hop should be on the list.
Despite having a legitimate place among classic rock groups, The Doors have a decidedly more modern sound and thus might be a bit more natural and appealing to modern artists looking for creative sampling ideas. Jay Z beat everyone else to it already, using The Doors’ “Five To One” in his own 2001 track “Takeover” in what stands as one of the best examples of hip hop and classic rock blends. It’s a great example of how this can work though, as Jay Z basically used the raw coolness of the band to make a smooth, almost suave background for himself to rap over.
Jimi Hendrix belongs to a very specific era simply because his career was so brief and so bright. But he’s never truly left the music world, and his material is having something of a miniature revival of late. Hendrix has recently been made the subject of a game that uses his actual music to spice up a slot reel. The game uses tracks like “Purple Haze” and other hits to attract an audience even in the 2010s. And Hendrix is also known to have inspired the aforementioned guitarist Gary Clark Jr., which further speaks to the enduring popularity of his styles. Because of this continued relevance, as well as all of the Hendrix guitar riffs that would serve as fascinating background on a hip hop beat, he’s definitely one to keep in mind.
Having had their heyday in the ‘90s, Oasis might not quite be “classic” in the traditional sense. But they do seem to be on their way to that sort of status thanks to a surprisingly deep catalogue of recognizable hits. And some of those hits - “Wonderwall” most notably” - have already been used in remixes and sampled tracks around the internet for some time now. There’s an emotive, meandering quality to Oasis’s typical sound that can make them useful in more low-key mixes, from the guitar in “Wonderwall” and “Champagne Supernova” to the simple percussion in a track like “Listen Up.”