James Brown, better known as the “Godfather of Soul,” left behind a musical legacy that still captivates listeners to this day. However, the late bandleader could very well be considered the Godfather of Hip-Hop and R&B as well, given how many acts have sampled his funky grooves.
Since the ’80s, hip-hop producers moved from spinning breakbeats and live instruments to the innovative style of sampling small bits of music and looping them in succession. The practice took hold, and it was rare that a hip-hop jam during this time didn’t feature some form of Brown’s influence.
In 1986, the duo of KRS-One and the late DJ Scott La Rock, better known as Boogie Down Productions, used a series of Brown songs for their big single, “South Bronx.” The song used Brown’s “Funky Drummer,” “Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved,” and “Get Up Offa That Thing.:
In 1987, Eric B & Rakim’s “I Ain’t No Joke” sampled “Pass The Peas,” while Biz Markie made great use of “Papa Don’t Take No Mess” for his 1988 classic, “The Vapors.”