A Comprehensive List of the Best Songs That Sample Kanye West
Kanye West’s sample game has by far been the most important staple of his career since the very beginning. From the height of the Roc-A-Fella Records era and Jay-Z, pinpointed by ’Ye’s majestic flip of The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” on “Izzo (H.O.V.A)” to the feverish revamp of Chaka Khan’s “Through the Fire” for his breakout single “Through the Wire,” his production work has been inspired by many revered artists.
With the advantage of knowing how to flip and tumble a beat, ’Ye's foot in the door evolved into his own version of Shawn Michaels' Sweet Chin Music. Over two decades, the Chicago-bred rapper has accumulated a big black book of hits, which of course, would go on to influence other artists who felt the impact of his music. Sooner than later, rappers began ripping pages out of that book and started sampling Kanye's songs to make smashes of their own.
The samples using Kanye's work come from both a vocal and production tip. Chance The Rapper’s "So Good (Good Ass Intro)" takes the angelic vocals of Yeezy’s “Freshmen Adjustment 2 Intro,” creating a luring first track to Chance’s classic mixtape Acid Rap. Tory Lanez’s “N.A.M.E” leans on the beat of Alicia Keys’ “You Don’t Know My Name,” produced by Mr. West back in 2003. Big Sean’s “Marvin and Chardonnay” pays homage to the billionaire by incorporating Kanye's hit single “Amazing.” And Kanye has even gone back to sample himself on tracks like “Good Life.”
With such a rich history in the game, Yeezus’ music has been redecorated in thousands of songs by all kinds of rappers. But to celebrate his 43rd birthday today (June 8), XXL highlights the best of the best. So bare with us as we look at a Fedex-level of repackaged material. Happy Birthday, ’Ye.
"The Cure"J. Cole
Original Song: Jay-Z and Kanye West's "Lift Off" Featuring Beyoncé
"So Good (Good Ass Intro)"Chance The Rapper
Original Song: Kanye West's "Freshmen Adjustment 2 Intro" Featuring John Legend
Original Song: Kanye West's "So Appalled" Featuring Jay-Z, Cyhi The Prynce, Pusha-T, Swizz Beatz and RZA
Original Song: Alicia Keys' "You Don't Know My Name," Produced by Kanye West and Keys
"Potato Salad"A$AP Rocky and Tyler, The Creator
Original Song: Monica's "Knock Knock," Produced by Kanye West
"90210"Travis Scott Featuring Kacy Hill
Original Song: Kanye West's "Family Business"
"m.A.A.d City"Kendrick Lamar Featuring MC Eiht
Original Song: Kanye West's "We Major" Featuring Nas and Really Doe
"Good Life"Kanye West Featuring T-Pain
Original Song: Kanye West's "School Spirit"
"1985 (Intro to "The Fall Off")"J. Cole
Original Song: Kanye West's "We Don't Care"
"Guerrilla Monsoon Rap"Talib Kweli Featuring Black Thought, Kanye West and Pharoahe Monch
Original Song: Puff Daddy's "Fuck Y'all Niggaz," Produced by Kanye West
Original Song: Kanye West's "Livin' in a Movie"
"Going in for Life"Drake
Original Song: 213's "Another Summer," Produced by Kanye West
"Heaven Only Knows"Towkio Featuring Chance The Rapper, Lido and Eryn Allen Kane
Original Song: John Legend's "Heaven," Produced by Kanye West and John Legend
"Let's Get Married (Reception Remix)"Jagged Edge Featuring Kanye West
Original Song: Kanye West's "Fight With the Best" Featuring Rhymefest and Mikkey
"This Is Why I'm Hot"Mims
Original Song: Kanye West's "Jesus Walks"
"Marvin and Chardonnay"Big Sean Featuring Kanye West and Roscoe Dash
Original Song: Kanye West's "Amazing" Featuring Young Jeezy
"Work Out"J. Cole
Original Song: Kanye West's "The New Work Out Plan"