The A-Z Guide to Every Song Sampled on Kanye West's 'The Life Of Pablo'
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The A-Z Guide to Every Song Sampled on Kanye West's 'The Life Of Pablo'

The rapper's highly-anticipated seventh album features everyone from Arthur Russell to Yoko Shimomura.

Unless you've been living under a boulder these past few weeks (and even that might not have been enough to ignore the rollout cycle), you've heard Kanye West's The Life Of Pablo by now, his anti-traditional, darkly personal, occasionally ugly, and frequently great seventh studio album.

Recently on THUMP we looked at the rapper's relationship with electronic music throughout his career, and how he went from making beats to setting trends with every album. While his cast of collaborators has ballooned and changed over the years, West's knack for picking samples, both obscure and unexpected, (and the right producers to turn them into chart-topping hits) remains unparalleled.


Without further ado, here's a guide to every song sampled on The Life Of Pablo.

Arthur Russell, "Answers Me"

Sampled On: "30 Hours"

What's crazier, LA producer Karriem Riggins prominently using the cult legend's "Answers Me" from his 1986 album World of Echo, or the fact that 'Ye got Andre 3000 in the studio and only used him to hum an outro?

Barbara Tucker, "I Get Lifted (The Underground Network Mix)"

Sampled On: "Fade" Originally used in "Deep Inside" (see below).

Desiigner, "Panda"

Sampled On: "Pt. 2"

Why get Future for a feature when you can get an 18-year-old NYC soundalike for one-tenth the price? Hopefully G.O.O.D. Music's latest signee got a good deal for the use of his (admittedly catchy) only hit to date.

Drake & Future, "Jumpman"

Sampled On: "Facts (Charlie Heat Version)"

Want to feel old? This song came out four months ago.

Fantastic Freaks, "Fantastic Freaks At The Dixie"

Sampled On: "Waves"

They don't do countdowns in songs like they used to.

Father's Children, "Dirt And Grime"

Sampled On: "Facts (Charlie Heat Version)"

While the original "Facts" was an anemic SoundCloud loosie with lazy Nike disses, the album version gets beefed up by producer Charlie Heat, while keeping this soulful sample from a 1973 record unearthed by archival label Numero Group.

Ghostface Killah, "Mighty Healthy"

Sampled On: "No More Parties In L.A."

Observant fans will remember this Supreme Clientele vocal was previously used by Kanye for "New God Flow" off the 2012 G.O.O.D. Music compilation Cruel Summer.


Goldfrapp, "Human"

Sampled On: "Freestyle 4"

Remember Goldfrapp? Remember the early 2000s? The ominous violin throughout "Freestyle 4" is lifted from the London electronic duo's song, which appeared on their debut album Felt Mountain.

Googoosh, "Talagh"

Sampled On: "Feedback"

From the Iranian pop singer and actress' 1992 album Pol.

Hardrive, " Deep Inside"

Sampled On: "Fade"

We got excited when we first heard) Louie Vega, Kenny Dope, and Erick Morillo's classic house anthem in "Fade" back in October and the final version doesn't disappoint.

Il Rovescio Della Medaglia, "Mi Sono Svegliato E… Ho Chiuso Gli Occhi"

Sampled On: "Famous" In the words of YouTube user "BeatProvider Italy": "I'm italian and didn't even know this song…what a samples digger!"

Isaac Hayes, "Joy"

Sampled On: "30 Hours"

For those missing the "chop up the soul Kanye," there's no better throwback then the skittering drums on "30 Hours."

Junie Morrison, "Suzie Thundertussy"

Sampled On: "No More Parties In L.A."

After Madlib revealed in a 2010 L.A. Weekly interview that he had five beats for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy put on hold, fans of the LA producer wondered if any of them would ever see the light of day. At the risk of sounding greedy, hopefully we'll see the rest one day.

Larry Graham, "Stand Up And Shout About Love"

Sampled On: "No More Parties In L.A."

While he's best known as Drake's uncle and The Life Of Pablo studio inspiration today, Larry Graham was a member of legendary American group Sly and the Family Stone and founder and frontman of funk band Graham Central Station. "Stand Up And Shout About Love," from the bassist's 1980 solo album One In A Million You, provides the perfect outro after Kanye finishes airing out a laptop-jacking cousin.


Kings Of Tomorrow, "So Alive (Acapella)"

Sampled On: "Low Lights"

Kings Of Tomorrow is one of New York house DJ and producer Sandy Rivera's many aliases, and we're betting Los Angeles duo DJ Dodger Stadium brought this track to the table.

Mr. Fingers, "Mystery Of Love"

Sampled On: "Fade"

How can one song interpolate so many bangers?

Natalie Is Great, "We Don't Want No Devils In The House"

Sampled On: "Ultralight Beam"

Nowadays it's common for viral Vines to be turned into club-ready songs, but Kanye went one step further and opened his seventh album with a 4-year-old's Instagram video.

Nina Simone, "Do What You Gotta Do"

Sampled On: "Famous"

After previously flipping Nina Simone's "Strange Fruit" into the colossal Yeezus anthem "Blood On The Leaves," Hudson Mohawke borrows from the iconic singer's discography again, this time her cover of The Four Tops' 1969 song "Do What You Gotta Do."

Pastor T.L. Burnett, "Father I Stretch My Hands"

Sampled On: "Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1" & "Pt. 2"

Early on Kanye described The Life Of Pablo as "actually a Gospel album," and it's hard to argue with that distinction on the record's leadoff track, which borrows its title from Chicago pastor (and con artist) T.L. Burnett's "Father I Stretch My Hands" and features R&B singer-songwriter Kelly Price and Chance The Rapper.

Rare Earth, "(I Know) I'm Losing You"

Sampled On: "Fade"

The vocals at the beginning of "Fade" belong to Gil Bridges, lead singer of Motown-signed blues rock band Rare Earth.


Section 25, "Hit"

Sampled On: "FML"

After Kanye co-produced The Weeknd's "Tell Your Friends" off last year's Beauty Behind The Madness, the Canadian R&B superstar returned the favour by lending an assist on the lurching "FML," which borrows from lesser-known 80s English post-punk group Section 25's "Hit."

Sister Nancy, "Bam Bam"

Sampled On: "Famous"

Arguably the best employed sample on The Life Of Pablo, Sister Nancy's frequently-sampled famous 1992 dancehall hit about sexual liberation provides the perfect counterpart to Rihanna's lilting hook. When recently interviewed by Billboard about the track, Nancy's response was mild indifference, saying, "The funniest thing—I just can't understand what they're saying so I don't try to hear."

Sugar Minott, "Walking Dub"

Sampled On: "Wolves"

Since debuting the song at his Adidas Yeezy Season 1 show, "Wolves" has changed form several times), but thankfully Cashmere Cat and Sinjin Hawke's eerie beat (which samples the late regaae singer Sugar Minott) remains the same.

Whodini, "Friends"

Sampled On: "Real Friends"

According to online database WhoSampled, the golden age New York hip-hop trio's track has been used by others a whopping 113 times, from Nas and Lauryn Hill's "If I Ruled The World (Imagine That)" to The Pharcyde's "Passing Me By." So you know it's good.

Yoko Shimomura & Isao Abe, Street Fighter II

Sampled On: "Facts (Charlie Heat Version)"

Kanye's hardly the first to sample music from the Street Fighter video game series, but there's a geeky pleasure to hearing sound bites by characters Dhalsim and Guile punctuate "Facts."

Max is on Twitter.