10 Songs You (Maybe) Didn't Know Were Samples

The music industry is continually changing, largely because of the creative individuals bringing new ideas and innovations into the landscape. New genres and styles have emerged as music has progressed, and the way many artists create music has changed significantly over time. In 2017, it is entirely possible to create a chart topping single on a computer in the comfort of your own home. 50, even 20 years ago, it would have been difficult to imagine the kind of flexibility that technology has given musicians.

With the integration of computers and DAWs (digital audio workstations) such as Ableton, Logic, and FL Studio into music, home production has become simpler than ever before. Songsmiths can slice and chop audio files in seconds, and creating intricate arrangements can be done in a bedroom nearly as well as in-studio.

What is Sampling?

Sampling is one technique that has become a staple of the modern workflow of artists and creators, notably in current hip-hop and R&B. A sample is a snippet of audio, usually taken from an already existing song, and then artists repurpose the sound as a part of their own creation. Typically, samples are a riff, vocal line, or drum section of a song, but can be larger sections of music as well. Some samples in today’s popular music are instantly recognizable, but others are more obscure, or significantly altered when placed into the new song. Kanye West, Chance The Rapper, and Drake, are a few popular artists who frequently incorporate samples into their work.

It can be difficult to find some of the hidden samples within popular songs, but let’s see if you recognize which songs feature each of these 10 samples.

10 of Our Favorite Samples

Click each video thumbnail to play the original sample, then click the slideshow arrow to reveal the new song that it's featured in!

This list is a selection of 10 popular songs that incorporate samples memorably, but there are countless others to look for and discover. Producing musical masterpieces has always been difficult, and as the industry evolves, artists continue to find innovative ways to create.