Our favourite David Bowie samples

The very sad news of David Bowie passing away got us thinking about how his music shaped the Hip-Hop landscape in particular, and we would like to share some of our favourite samples taken from the Starman himself (in no particular order).


1) Puff Daddy featuring Notorious B.I.G. & Ma$e – Been Around The World

Bowie’s 1980s staple “Let’s Dance” was the groundwork for this 90s hit from the Bad Boy Family. Collaborating with Nile Rogers, the guitar and bass combo allowed Biggie and Puffy to flow effortlessly over it, but it’s Bowie’s immortal call to the dance floor in the original that ultimately makes this track an all-time classic.

Let’s Dance

Been Around The World

2) MF DOOM – Rapp Snitch Knishes

The supervillain’s classic “Mm… Food” album contained this absolute gem, featuring some gorgeously looped guitar work from legendary 60s anthem “Space Oddity”.

Space Oddity

Rapp Snitch Knishes

3) Jay-Z – The Takeover

From the 1975 album “Young Americans”, Kanye takes Bowie’s bellowing cry of “FAAAMMMEEEEE” and crafts it into a hook for Hova’s “The Blueprint”. “Fame” has been extensively used by the likes of Public Enemy in “Night of the Living Baseheads”, Dr. Dre in “Fame” and EPMD in “It Wasn’t Me, It Was The Fame”, as well as a host of others ranging from Ultramagnetic MC’s to ODB.


The Takeover

4) J Dilla – Take Notice

Greatness recognises greatness in this instance. Dilla takes the drums from Bowie’s “Soul Love” from “Ziggy Stardust” and uses it as a backbone for this Kraftwerk-esque beat for Guilty Simpson to jump on. El-P used the drums on “Innocent Leader” from his classic album “Fantastic Damage” and Khrysis used them on Rapsody’s “For Everything”. Impeccable.

Soul Love

Take Notice

5) Saigon – Breathe Through The Years

For the more hardcore Hip-Hop fans, NY rapper Saigon sampled Bowie’s “Bring Me The Disco King” from his 2003 album “Reality”, taking Bowie’s dark impassioned yearning and sinister yet jazzy instrumentation and flipping it into a hook for his 2005 mixtape “Abandoned Nation”.

Breathe Through The Years

Bring Me The Disco King

6) Vanilla Ice – Ice Ice Baby

Say no more really…

Under Pressure

Ice Ice Baby