Video game soundtracks have had influence in the Hip Hop scene for decades. From classic arcade sound effects to full beats, you will likely recognize familiar sounds sampled in some of the most popular Hip Hop tracks. Hip Hop artists have found unique and innovative ways to incorporate these beats into their music, and the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down. If you’re curious where you can catch some video game classics in your favorite Hip Hop songs, look no further. Here are five times that Hip Hop sampled video games:
Lil' Flip – Game Over (2004)
With a title like “Game Over” it’s no surprise that Lil’ Flip’s first single includes samples from a classic arcade game. It went on to reach number 15 on the Billboard charts and became the biggest hit of Lil’ Flip’s career. From the beginning of the track, you’ll hear the iconic sounds of Ms. Pacman, an arcade classic. You can actually still purchase these classic games to play from the comfort of your home at . Maybe you’ll get inspired to create some music yourself!
Young Jeezy feat. Akon – Soul Survivor (2005)
The track Soul Survivor is from Young Jeezy’s third studio album and hit number 1 on the Billboard charts. The video game sample in this track may not be as apparent since they recorded it like a xylophone riff. If you listen behind the main verses, you can hear the Bunker music from , which came out of Nintendo 64. Once you know it’s there, you can’t miss the riff from this incredibly popular classic game.
Jay Z feat. DMX – Money, Cash, Hoes (1998)
Produced by super producers Swizz Beatz the track features a sample from a Sega Genesis classic. While they haven’t come right out and said it, it’s pretty evident that you can hear the “Thief’s Theme” from Golden Axe, a barbarian style game released in 1992.
Eminem, J. Black & Masta Ace – Hellbound (2000)
One of Sega Dreamcasts most iconic games is Soulcalibur. The classic fighting game, released in 1998, has a soundtrack you could recognize anywhere. Hellbound, a track from Masta Ace, Eminem, and J. Black features soundbites from Soulcalibur, including some spoken lines from the game. The track had its first release in Europe on a compilation album called “Game Over”. The collection features rap and Hip Hop tracks from various artists that combined samples from video games.
DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – Human Video Game (1988)
An oldie, but a goodie, this classic from DJ Jazzy Jeff features a notable sample from the original Donkey Kong arcade game. It is produced by DJ Jazzy Jeff and features the vocals of Will Smith aka The Fresh Prince. The song is about how The Fresh Prince is obsessed with playing video games and stays up all night to do so. Not surprising then that they included this iconic sample from Donkey Kong in the background of the track.