Today would have been Michael Jackson’s 60th birthday. Throughout his career, he gave us countless memorable songs, innovative music videos, and badass dance moves. He's one of the most influential musical artists of the 21st century, so it's no surprise that his music is often sampled. To celebrate his day, let’s look back at nine tracks where Michael’s songs were sampled in hip-hop.
PYT (Pretty Young Thing)
On Kanye West’s third album Graduation, he sampled "PYT" on the pop hit “Good Life” that features T-Pain.
Nas went big by sampling Mike’s “Human Nature” on his second single “It Ain’t Hard to Tell” from his debut album, Illmatic.
The Lady in My Life
Lady Love Cool J, especially when he gets romantic as he did on the track “Hey Lover,” which samples the ballad "The Lady in My Life."
I Can’t Help It
"Breakadawn" from the 90’s hip-hop group De La Soul samples “I Can’t Help It” throughout most of the track
Fast forward to 15 years later, Brooklyn rapper Fabolous sampled “I Can’t Help It” on his sentimental track “Baby.”
Although Tupac never had a kid before his untimely death, he wrote the song “Letter 2 My Unborn Child,” is fictitious. The song sampled Jackson’s “Liberian Girl.”
Cleveland's Bone Thug N Harmony sampled the socially conscious track “Earth Song” on “What Have We Done” where they rap about the destruction of the planet.
I Want You Back
Produced by megafan Kanye West, he uses The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” on Jay Z’s “Izzo (H.O.V.A)" where he raps about his early career, growing up in Marcy Houses and his struggles in the recording industry.
It’s Great To Be Here
One of the Jackson 5’s deep cuts “It’s Great to Be Here” is widely sampled by many hip-hop artists from Diddy to Mariah to Wiz Khalifa. You might remember the sample during Notorious BIG’s verse in “It’s All About the Benjamins.”