Following the announcement of David Bowie's death after a long battle with cancer on Sunday, Jan. 10, fans, friends and family members remembered the rock icon. But Bowie's influence could be felt even in hip-hop, as rappers from from Kanye West -- who called the legend "one of my most important inspirations" -- to Kendrick Lamar were among those mourning the loss of a groundbreaking artist.
And Bowie had love for hip-hop too. Much like his bold call for more black musicians to be showcased on MTV in the early '80s, the "Heroes" singer showed support for the genre in a 1993 "Today" show interview. "The quality and significance of the social message has moved very much fundamentally to the Black and Hispanic market," he said. "And that's where the new force of music is coming from."
The appreciation was there through the years. To prove it, we pulled together a list of rap tracks -- in no particular order -- that sample the late great's art. Also, be sure to check out two must-see clips at the end: Bowie calling out MTV's diversity problem in a very uncomfortable VJ interview, and praising the "purpose" of hip-hop music in another.
Diddy's "Been Around The World"
In 1997, Diddy released his Notorious B.I.G. and Ma$e-assisted "Been Around the World," a cut inspired by Bowie's "Let's Dance." The sample no doubt helped catapult the song and it quickly became one of the biggest hits on Puff's No Way Out album, released after Biggie's tragic death that year.
Public Enemy's "Night Of The Living Baseheads"
Before Dr. Dre, Jay Z and EPMD used a similar portion of "Fame" as samples, PE had a different take. "Night of the Living Baseheads," off the group's critically acclaimed It Takes a Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back album, got a boost from the classic Bowie cut in this sample-heavy anti-drug anthem.
EPMD's "It Wasn’t Me, It Was The Fame"
In 1989, EPMD unleashed this track off Unfinished Business, helping to bring Bowie’s "Fame" into hip-hop prominence. Jay Z and Dr. Dre would eventually follow.
Ice Cube's "Alive On Arrival"
Cube's heralded Death Certificate uses a "Fame" sample -- although not the same portion EPMD, Dr. Dre and Jay Z rapped over -- for "Alive on Arrival." It just further demonstrates how one track can inspire different producers in various ways.
Dr. Dre's "Fame"
Bowie's "Fame" helped inspire a Dre song of the same name. The cut featuring RC and King Tee appeared on Dr. Dre Presents ... The Aftermath, and you can hear the Bowie influence strong on the hook here.
Jay Z’s "Takeover"
Jay Z's now classic Nas and Mobb Deep dis track is famous for sampling The Doors' "Five To One," but Bowie's "Fame" was pivotal for Hov’s scathing Nas verse. In fact, it helps open the verse, as Jay raps about how Esco is missing the "fa-a-a-me."
J. Dilla's "Take Notice"
The legendary beatmaker sampled Bowie's 1972 single "Soul Love" off The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars. He wouldn't be the only one to do so.
El-P's "Innocent Leader"
El-P -- who shared his sadness over the 69-year-old's death on Twitter -- also sampled the aforementioned "Soul Love" for his "Innocent Leader."
Rapsody's "For Everything
The introspective "For Everything," which touches on the emcee's family, racism and her economic struggle, carries a hint of "Soul Love" too.
Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby"
Queen and Bowie's collab "Under Pressure" makes a major appearance on Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby." The rapper's multi-platinum single became a mega-hit but also a big story as the press repeatedly questioned Ice about the heavy similarities between the tracks.
Charli Baltimore's "Ice"
Much like Vanilla Ice, Charli Baltimore and Ma$e were inspired by Queen and Bowie's "Under Pressure." On this version, Ma$e tries his hand at the famous vocals.