Old School Mondays:: Michael Jackson Sample Edition

Perhaps you were done reading MJ-related posts? Not so fast friend. Not to worry though, I’ve already done my little tribute post, so this right here is more like 40% tribute, and 60% not being able to pass up a solid angle for OSM. So yes, today we’ve got for you a top five of old school hip hop that sample Michael Jackson.

Now Michael Jackson didn’t seem like the most hip hop guy going, but after hearing him mentioned by countless MC’s through the years, I think hip hop dudes were drawn to him a lot more than one would suspect. I think if you listen to his music, older stuff especially, one would certainly surmise that buried somewhere deep under the layers of whatever MJ had done to himself over the years, was a large reservoir of soul, and rappers have usually responded to soulful types, even the non-traditional ones like Prince or MJ. And yes, they also sample from them, but like most huge artists, the samples stopped quite a while ago when the songwriter realized they could charge an MC their first-born to let them use even the most inane thing, like the Orson Wells laugh from Thriller (didn’t stop NWA or PE though).

But that’s ok, there’s still some awesome songs that were able to use some MJ material, so let’s go through the ones I picked. Our lead-off track, the bon-kares Just Keep Rockin’ by Brits the Double Trouble and the Rebel MC serves a dual purpose - not only does it sample my fave jam (Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough), but hill alumnus Mr. E has been requesting an OSM appearance by these dudes for ages. So there you go, done and done. Chubb Rock. Vocal sample from Off The Wall. Need I say more about the Chubbster’s Enjoy Ya Self? If you know my history, then I think not. Mental Stamina was always one of my favorite Jeru songs, and up until now I never knew the beat sampled Billie Jean. Well then, that makes it perfect for this list doesn’t it? Speaking of favorites, De La’s Breakadawn from the cult-ishly beloved Buhloone Mindstate also fits squarely in that category, and it also happens to sample I Can’t Help It from Off The Wall. And to wrap things up, perhaps the penultimate MJ sample, the sublime sampling of Human Nature by Large Pro for Nas’ It Ain’t Hard To Tell. That’s good stuff, so enjoy.

MP3:: Double Trouble And The Rebel M.C. - Just Keep Rockin’

MP3:: Chubb Rock - Enjoy Ya Self

MP3:: Jeru The Damaja - Mental Stamina

MP3:: De la Soul - Breakadawn

MP3:: Nas - It Aint Hard To Tell

Video:: Nas - It Aint Hard To Tell

The cutoff for OSM inclusion is ’95, otherwise I’d certainly have included the jam below, Big Pun’s You Ain’t A Killer, not only because I love the song, but also because it samples MJ’s With A Child’s Heart, which seems like as unlikely pairing as one could get, in just about every way.

MP3:: Big Pun - You Ain’t a Killer

This entry was posted on Monday, July 6th, 2009 at 11:00 am and is filed under Chubb Rock, De La Soul, Hip Hop, Jeru, Michael Jackson, Old School Mondays. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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