More Than A Rock Star: 12 Rap Songs That Sample David Bowie
Transformed constantly were Bowie’s enigmatic melodies into hardcore hip-hop tracks, proving that his tunes were not only iconic, but also malleable.
When the news of the death of David Bowie hit the Web, it was no wonder that hip-hop stars flocked to their feeds to pay homage. Kanye West called the music legend one of his “most important inspirations.” Q-Tip heralded Bowie as one of his “heroes.” Pharrell Williams called him “a true innovator, a true creative.” Though the singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist has also etched a legacy that transcends music–he is also a fashion and art icon–his artistry became the source of some of hip-hop’s biggest records. From Public Enemy, to Jay Z, to Puff Daddy & the Family, David Bowie served as a blueprint, time and time again.
A Bowie favorite of hip-hop artists to sample has been “Fame,” his 1975 Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit from his album, Young Americans. The track was tapped for Hov’s arsenal of fury on Takeover,” tracks from Ice Cube and Public Enemy and for a Dr. Dre track of the same name. Transformed constantly were Bowie’s enigmatic melodies into hardcore hip-hop tracks, proving that his tunes were not only iconic, but also malleable. His music was even behind the first hip-hop single to top the Billboard charts: Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby.”
If you’re not up on the importance of David Bowie, take a small glimpse into his influence with these 12 rap songs that drew from his genius. Get familiar.