Example: Usher’s 2002 song “U Don’t Have To Call”
There is nothing like nostalgia. Just about anything can trigger a memory from your younger years, whether it be a picture, a fire attack, or, as often happens, a song. Music, especially hip-hop, is so close to memory that the two go hand in hand; songs that you loved at a certain age serve as the soundtrack to many memories. Adult is awesome (OK, sometimes that sucks), but looking back on the carefree days of being a teenager is special. Luckily for hip-hop fans, the era where songs from yesteryear are reworked and presented in a whole new way is happening now. There are a lot of rap tracks over the past few years that sample these songs from the past, and it’s time to highlight some of the best.
It wouldn’t be fair not to show Saweetie a bit of love when you consider that she has hit songs in consecutive years that have sampled rap songs from the past. She caught fire with “My Type” in 2019, which samples Petey Pablo’s 2003 club classic “Freek-A-Leek”. For rap fans born between 1984 and 1990, you were between 13 and 18 when “Freek-A-Leek” was released. In 2020, Saweetie did it again with “Tap In,” which returns Too $ hort’s 2006 smash song “Blow The Whistle”. Fans born between 1987 and 1993 remember this song well. Saweetie’s catalog is more than samples, of course, but she made these two tracks work for her in a very specific way. Also, it can’t be just any sampled song – it has to be something that was liked for it to work.
While this is the ultimate nod to pay homage when a newer rapper samples or interpolates an older rapper’s track for a new album, it’s not always rap songs that get sampled. 2 Chainz“Rule The World” with Ariana Grande reworks Amerie’s Spring 2002 love song “Why Don’t We Fall In Love.” Hip-hop devotees with birthdays between 1983 and 1989 know this track all too well. Jack harlow and his good friend Bryson Tiller made “Thru The Night”, which directly samples Usher’s banger in 2002 “U Don’t Have To Call”, a must-have song in its day. Babies of the 1980s and early 1990s know that Ursh was everywhere back then.
Hip-hop stars are finding new ways to honor the good old days with returning samples, and there’s power in familiarity with that. Check out these hip-hop songs that sample your favorite teenage tracks.