Hip-Hop Loves Prince ... And His Samples

By Bridget Bland

Prince keeps a low profile these days, but when the 52 year-old singer-songwriter decides he’s ready to hit the road, he does it in a very, big way.

Recently, the Minnesota native announced at Harlem’s famed Apollo Theater that he’d serve as Master of Ceremonies on a new tour called ‘Welcome 2 America.’ On the December trek, he’ll be joined by some of his favorite artists including Janelle Monae, Maceo Parker, Mint Condition, Sheila E., Esperanza Spalding, Cassandra Wilson and Lalah Hathaway.

The "Purple Rain" singer will play three dates at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey starting on December 14 followed by two dates at New York’s Madison Square Garden on December 18 and December 29.

Singers like TLC, Alicia Keys, Usher and Trey Songz have covered and sampled Prince records over the years. In honor of Prince’s upcoming dates, RapFix put together a list of some of our favorite hip-hop artists who’ve sampled the Grammy Award winner.

Kanye West

This Chi-Town MC sampled Prince’s 1979 song “It’s Gonna Be Lonely” for his ode to Jay-Z, “Big Brother,” which appeared on Ye’s 2007 album Graduation.

Nicki Minaj

She’s breaking tons of female MC records and her debut album hasn’t even hit stores yet. It was only a matter of time until this Queens native sampled Prince. The chorus to Nicki Minaj’s up-tempo track “Blow Your Mind” reworks Prince’s infectious hit “Darling Nikki.”

Tupac Shakur

Tupac sampled Prince’s 1981 chart-topper “Do Me, Baby” for his 1996 single “To Live & Die in L.A.” The West Coast anthem expressed the late rapper’s love for Los Angeles.

Jay-Z and Beyoncé

The song that put Forbes’ #1 celebrity couple on the map was “’03 Bonnie and Clyde.” The Kanye West-produced rap joint, which appeared on Hov’s The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse album, sampled Tupac’s “Me and My Girlfriend,” It also included a portion where Beyoncé sings some of Prince’s 1987 song “If I Was Your Girlfriend.”

MC Hammer

Sure, most folks remember him for “U Can’t Touch This,” his baggy pants, and even going bankrupt. But, the Oakland MC also made a name for himself with “Pray” a 1990 single which incorporated Prince’s “When Doves Cry.”

Like Sade, whether many realize it, Prince is pretty hip-hop.

What's your favorite Prince sample used by a hip-hop artist? Tweet us at @MTVRapFix or tell us in a comment below!