Toppa Top 10: Reggae Samples In Rap Songs

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 +1

Words by Jesse Serwer


Hip-hop’s been borrowing from reggae since Jamaican-born Kool Herc updated the soundsystem throwdown for his new home in the Bronx. But the reggae references, both sonic and otherwise, that inform so many of rap’s biggest tunes have a way of flying under many hip-hop listeners’ radars. Here’s a cheat sheet: 10 (well, 14) classic rap tracks that get their sound from both classic and obscure yard productions.

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25 Responses


    YOW I know the story behind the fake Fuzzy Jones on the Smif N Wessun track… That’s some cat they knew who could do a DEAD ON Fuzzy Jones impression… Believe me I have TONS of 45s with Fuzzy on the intro, and heard many a dubplate but that intro was FOR Smif N Wessun, not a sample… It’s a style bite though LOL…

    btw Joe Lickshot’s primary rival was the original human effects machine Jackie Knockshot from Youthman Promotions… Whereas Knockshot did a variety of sound effects Lickshot’s specialty was imitating specific gunfire (incluiding ‘the silencer’ which meant not making any noise on the mic at all LOL place mashup) Fuzzy had his own niche… Don’t forget Bammy Man the Human Ampilfier another wicked reggae sound effects personality, he used to beatbox riddims using his mouth or a customized didgeridoo…

    • shottaflex

      My yout. This is Fuzzy. I have all the intro’s from 1989 when the intro for them chune did cut.


    btw I know it’s not Fuzzy cause someone who was down with Duck Down back in the day on the Brooklyn hardcore backpack rap circuit told me…

  3. 1senor

    very good post. i think one of shawty lo song has a reggea sample in it. it was one of his biggest hits but i can’t remember the song though

  4. Pac Man Sprewell

    good list. Sublime flipped the disease riddim for their joint “Greatest Hits.”

    RA The Rugged Man and Killah Priest flipped Horace Andy’s “Skylarker” for the song “Chains.” Both good jams

  5. w&w

    This is great — very up my alley. Thanks for compiling (and for the link)! We could go on and on with this. So many examples. I tried to catalog a bunch in my dissertation, but they just keep piling on.

    I think the reason lots of people say BDP sampled “Zunguzung” rather than “Diseases” is that, obviously, he interpolates Yellowman’s melody over the beat that samples the Junjo-produced Mad Mad riff (Diseases is a re-lick of Mad Mad, for those who don’t know). Of course, the difference between those two records is pretty academic, since they’re basically on the same riddim/version (if slightly tweaked differently). But if that’s what KRS says, no reason to insist otherwise. It’s a nice recognition anyway that Yellowman and Mich&Smiley were both still big in the Bronx for those tunes some 4 or so years later!

  6. Walshy fire

    ON the Fuzzy jones topic, that is not joe lick shot. not sure who but def not joe lick shot.

    Jackie Knock shot sad to say passed away here in Miami. He was beaten to death caused by his crack addiction. If you want to know anyting at all about jackie knock shot aka high plains drifter just ask the sounds system jah cuban. They were with him up to his death in hospital and were trying to bring him back.

    And lastly that is The 5 footer himself “toasting” on that de la soul song. Yep Fife Diggy Dawg. Hes trini and did a very good job of the DJ on this track. He says his name in the intro btw “fife” (and remember this is sampled from the chase vampire riddim)

  7. DJ Hunnicutt

    Enjoyed this post – thanks.

    Some reggae samples I dig that aren’t on your list are:
    Sister Nancy’s “Bam Bam” used by Main Source for “Just Hangin’ Out”

    Augustus Pablo’s “East of the River Nile” used for J-Live’s “Satisfied”

    The Nairobi Sisters’ “Promised Land” used by Kurious for “Mansion and a Yacht”

  8. splurt

    + slick rick’s” Moses” samples Alton Elis “Sundays Coming”
    there’s a guitar riff/lick in delasouls “Keeping the Faith” that sounds like it could have come from Bob Marleys “Could you be loved”


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