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10 Classic Hip-Hop Songs That Sampled Isaac Hayes

Rap Songs Inspired by Isaac Hayes

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More than a soul legend, Isaac Hayes unintentionally laid down the groundwork for countless hip-hop classics throughout his illustrious career. No wonder Chuck D calls him his music godfather.

Here are 10 classic hip-hop songs that sampled the late great Isaac Hayes.

10. GangStarr - "B.I. Vs. Friendship" (feat. M.O.P.)

Sample: Isaac Hayes - "Come Live with Me"

Premo's knack for sampling lush soul or jazz templates is evident on this GangStarr firecracker from Moment of Truth. This is a lively glimpse into Premier's production wizardry.

9. 2Pac - "Me Against the World"

© Death Row
Sample: Isaac Hayes - "Walk on By"

2Pac must have been a huge Black Moses fan, as he sampled Isaac Hayes several times throughout his recording career. In addition to "Inside My Love" by Minnie Riperton, the backdrop for "Me Against the World" was largely borrowed from Hayes' ubiquitous classic "Walk on By."

8. Eric B & Rakim - "Keep the Beat"

Sample: Isaac Hayes - "Joy"

"Joy" is one of Hayes' most sampled works. Like Eric B & Rakim, the likes of Massive Attack and TLC have also relied on this soulful gem as a source of inspiration for their own hits. "Keep the Beat" appears on Eric B & Rakim's fourth and final album, Don't Sweat the Technique.

7. Dr. Dre - "Stranded on Death Row"

Dr Dre - The Chronic
© Death Row
Sample: Isaac Hayes - "Do Your Thing"

You probably can't tell from the songs he produced on 50 Cent's Curtis, but Dr. Dre used to be a '70s soul junkie. Dre tapped some of the killer samples on "Stranded on Death Row" from the live version of "Do Your Thing."

6. Wu-Tang Clan - "I Can't Go to Sleep"

Sample: Isaac Hayes - "Walk on By"

I could as easily fill this list with songs that sampled Isaac Hayes' "Walk on By" and still come up with a ton of goodness. This gem from Wu's overlooked 2000 album, The W, finds RZA astutely recapturing the magic of "Walk on By." And yes, that's Isaac Hayes on the chorus.

5. DJ Quik - "Born and Raised"

Sample: Isaac Hayes - "Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic"

"Born and Raised" was one of the singles off Quik's 1991 opus, Quik is the Name. Quik, a veteran hip-hop producer, retained the electrifying rhythms on "Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic" and added some fat drum kicks to the mix.

4. Jay-Z - "Can I Live"

© Roc-A-Fella/Priority
Sample: Isaac Hayes - "The Look of Love"

This stupendously poignant composition has Hayes' fingerprints all over its DNA, thanks to "The Look of Love." It's also one of Jay's strongest cuts ever.

3. Notorious B.I.G. - "Warning"

Album cover:© Bad Boy
Sample: Isaac Hayes - "Walk on By"

Biggie's 1993 hit "Warning" famously turned this laid-back jazz gem on its head, transforming it into a gritty story about a heist gone-awry.

2. Geto Boys - "Mind Playing Tricks"

© Rap-A-Lot
Sample: Isaac Hayes - "Hung up on My Baby"

Revered as one of the greatest hip-hop songs in history and definitely one of the spookiest rap songs ever, "Mind Playing Tricks" taps into the emotional energy of Isaac Hayes' "Hung up on My Baby."

1. Public Enemy - "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos"

Sample: Isaac Hayes - "Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic"

Chuck D fondly refers to Isaac Hayes as his music godfather who taught him about songwriting and the music business. So, it's no surprise that Public Enemy sampled Hayes on this hip-hop gem. And who can forget Chuck D's collaboration with Hayes on his 1995 album, Branded.

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