The 1970s witnessed the earliest stirrings of hip-hop, and with the release of the Sugar Hill Gang’s ‘Rapper’s Delight’ at the end of the decade*, the movement had become more than just an underground sensation. By the mid-1980s LL Cool J, the Beastie Boys and DJ Jazzy Jeff were on the scene. From a Blue Note perspective, the most significant hip-hop act from this period was A Tribe Called Quest whose 1990 debut featured extensive sampling, not least from Blue Note’s catalogue and including the track ‘Think Twice’ by Donald Byrd (from the 1975 album Stepping into Tomorrow). On their second album a year later, ATCQ sampled ‘Buhaina Chant’ from Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers 1957 album as well as Grant Green’s ‘Down Here On The Ground.’ Their 1993 album made use of Lou Donaldson’s ‘Ode To Billy Joe’, the most sampled Blue Note song of all time, along with material from tracks by Lee Morgan, Ronnie Foster, and Woody Shaw.
Blue Note’s Most Sampled Recordings