When Hip Hop Sampled Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul

When Hip Hop Sampled Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul

Hip Hop loved Aretha Franklin

There’s no denying the impact Aretha Franklin had on all genres of music. Her songs calling for love’s grace, black excellence, and peace grooved to the top of the charts. Aretha was one of the most praised artists of all time. As Franklin built her legacy, future creative ears were listening. They used her sound in their music – especially the students of Hip Hop.

After James Brown, Franklin must be the most sought-after sample in the game. Yaslin Bey and producer Ayatollah set the bar high with their flip of 1967’s “One Step Ahead” into then-Mos Def’s solo gem, Ms. Fat Booty.  Providing the perfect zing to Def’s rhymes, the sample helped legitimize the song as one of the biggest tracks of the emcee’s career.

From Kanye West’s use of 1970’s “Call Me” in Slum Village’s “Selfish” to Outkast’s use of 71’s “Rock Steady” for “Jazze Battle”, to make a perfect tune, sometimes all we needed was her voice.  Funny enough, Franklin delivered dynamic covers and interpolations, as well. The ’67 recording of  “Respect” happened to be a cover of fellow soul legend Otis Redding’s song of the same name. They changed the lyrics to fit the persona of a dynamic and confident woman. The track became one of the most important songs in music history and the go-to track on your mom’s playlist.

Let’s take a look at a few times Hip Hop sampled Aretha Franklin.

This girl’s in love with Aretha

“Day Dreaming” (1972)

The song was also sampled on: 

Ab-Soul – “Bohemian Groove” | Control System (2011)
T.I. – “Let’s Get Away” feat. Jazze Pha | Trap Musik (2003)


“One Step Ahead”(1967)


The song was also sampled on:

Blu and Exile – “The Only One” | Give Me My Flowers While I Can Smell Them (2011)
Danileigh – “All I Know” feat. Kes | Summer With Friends (2017)


“Call Me” (1970)



The song was also sampled on:

Big Sean – “Call Me” | Finally Famous (2007)
Joey Bada$$ – “Reign” | Summer Knights (2013)

“Rock Steady”  (1971)


The song was also sampled on:

Outkast – “Jazze Belle” | ATLiens (1996)
Dr. Dre – “Rat-tat-tat-tat” feat. RBX and Snoop Dogg | The Chronic (1992)
J. Dilla – “Rockhuh!”

Hip Hop reacts to the passing of our Queen








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