Top 10 Marvin Gaye Samples
Sunday was the death anniversary of one of the most iconic singers of the 20th century. Marvin Gaye was shot by his own father 28 years ago during a family dispute, just one day short of his own 45th birthday.
Even though we are close to three decades now without the vocal prowess of a man who delivered hit after hit during his career, Marvin Gaye has been sampled in hip-hop, r&b and soul countless times. As we celebrate the life and music of the “Let’s Get It On” singer here at Roc4Life, we give you ten songs which have utilized the legacy Marvin left behind.
1. Big Daddy Kane – “Smooth Operator” (1989)
Sampled: ‘Let’s Get It On’
This track hit the number one spot on the Rap Chart for BDK back in ’89 and featured a very young Chris Rock in the video.
2. Mary J. Blige – “Be Happy” (1994)
Sampled: “I Want You”
Puffy’s Hitmen were out in force on this cult classic from Mary’s sophomore album, My Life. But it wasn’t only Marvin who was sampled in this track, Curtis Mayfield was also present.
3. Method Man feat. Mary J Blige – “I’ll Be There For You/You’re All I Need to Get By” (1995)
Possibly one of the most revered Hip-Hop/RnB collaborations, this Meth and Mary smash remains a crowd pleaser 17 years on.
4. Mic Geronimo – “Things Ain’t What They Used To Be” (1997)
Sampled: “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)”
From the Queens rapper’s sophomore album, Vendetta, this track saw Mic Geronimo team up with fellow rapper Royal Flush on addressing the continued struggles which Marvin touched on 26 years previously.
5. Krumb Snatcha – “Hip-Hop” (1998)
Sampled: ‘You Are Everything’) – He may have announced his departure from the music game earlier this year, but the former Gang Starr Foundation affiliate hit a home run with this track back in the golden era.
6. Erick Sermon – “Music” (2001)
Sampled “Turn On Some Music”)
This song delivered Erick Sermon his highest charting solo song place on the Billboard Char and also served the Green Eyed bandit his first single under J Records, after leaving Def Jam.
7. Tweet feat. Missy Elliot – “Turn Da Lights Off” (2005)
Sampled: “If This World Were Mine”
Tweet, Missy, Tammii, Marvin and a side of Nat King Cole thrown in for good measure, may have not been a single from the Southern Hummingbirds second album, but it certainly made for a creative filler.
8. Amy Winehouse – “Tears Dry On Their Own” (2006)
Sampled: “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough)”
This single boasts the collaborative efforts of three unique duos in music. Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross who performed the initial track, Ashford and Simpson who penned the original for Gaye and Ross and then finally the culmination of Winehouse and Salaam Remi who remade a hit which became Amy’s fourth most popular track in her short history.
9. Jay-Z – “American Dreamin’” (2007)
Sampled: “Soon I’ll Be Loving You Again”
Another track from the Hitmen heavy American Gangster album, “American Dreamin’” saw the project’s leading man address situations from his early days.
10. Joe Budden – “Who Killed Hip-Hop?” (2008)
Sampled: “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)”
The 15 minute three part effort from the Slaughterhouse member can be seen as as an example as to why Budden is one of the most slept on MCs of the last decade.