Borrowed From The Beatles – Fab Four Samples In Hip-Hop

Beatles purists everywhere cover your dainty little ears. Here’s the new video for ‘Lonely People’, a song by Atlanta rapper B.O.B. that samples ‘Eleanor Rigby’. B.O.B. is just the latest in a long line of rappers to stomp all over the Fab Four’s sacred recordings. Here are a few other highlights from down the years.

B.O.B. – Lonely People

Boogie Down Productions – ‘Criminal Minded’ (1987)
KRS-1 modifies ‘Hey Jude’ on the intro to this b-boy classic. Altogether now, “We’ll take the wackest song and make it better…”

Beastie Boys – Sound of Science (1989)
The seminal album ‘Paul’s Boutique’ got Ad-Rock, Mike D and MCA into a lot of trouble, thanks largely to their liberal use of samples. This song contains parts from at least five Beatles songs, including ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band‘.

Organized Konfusion and some other dudes
Organized Konfusion and some other dudes

Organized Konfusion – ‘Stress’ (1994)
The ‘Come Together’ inspired bassline on this neck-snapping gem from Pharoahe Monch’s old group had to be tinkered with after Paul, George and Ringo threatened to send the boys round.

Jay-Z – ‘Encore’ (2003)
Not so much a Beatles sample as a sample of a Beatles cover. The intro to John Holt’s version of ‘I Will’ provided producer Kanye West with some suitably anthemic horns for Jay-Z’s supposed swansong.

Jay-Z – ‘Dirt Off My Shoulder (Dangermouse remix)’ (2004)
From the infamous ‘Grey Album’. Danger Mouse made his name with this mash-up of Jigga and the Beatles. ‘Julia’ has never sounded so gangsta.

Wu-Tang Clan – ‘The Heart Gently Weeps’ (2008)
Announced as the first ever legally cleared Beatles sample, this turned out to be an interpolation of ‘My Guitar Gently Weeps’ played by Chili Pepper John Frusciante and George Harrison’s son, Dhani. Close enough, then.

What’s your favourite Beatles sample in rap? There must be loads I haven’t mentioned…

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