Miles Davis is a jazz legend and a music icon and many artists are not only intrigued by his work, but also have utilized it both subtly and openly.
The music of Davis, whose 1959 album Kind Of Blue still holds the title of best-selling jazz album ever, has continued to live on long after his death in 1991, with everyone from Black Moon to Diddy sampling his music. And today, on what would have been his 90th birthday, a new interactive tool has debuted to illustrate the jazz pioneer’s ongoing enormous influence on decades of musicians and culture in general.
In addition to tools, the Miles Davis movie Miles Ahead was met with great reviews and inspired a posthumous collaboration with pianist and musical genius Robert Glasper, Everything’s Beautiful, featuring his remixes of Davis tracks from the Columbia/Legacy vault, with a starry assortment of guests.
With so many contributions to the culture and music, The Source decided to celebrate of the life and legacy of Miles Davis by compiling a list of 10 classic records in Hip Hop that feature samples from the legend himself.
“Suicidal Thoughts” – Notorious B.I.G
Sampling Miles Davis’s “Lonely Fire” from his 1974 album Big Fun, “Suicidal Thoughts” was one of Biggie’s most revealing records on his debut.
“Party Over” – Mobb Deep feat. Big Noyd
Taking a page from Biggie, Mobb Deep also utilized Miles Davis’ “Lonely Fire” from his 1974 album Big Fun for their 1995 hit “Party Over” featuring Big Noyd. The gritty tale helped catapult Mobb Deep to be mentioned on many “Greatest Hip Hop Album” lists.
“Manifest” – Gangstarr
Sampling Miles Davis’s collaboration with Charlie Parker, “A Night in Tunisia” (which also has a version featuring Chaka Khan and Dizzy Gillespie), Gangstarr took their love for jazz and created a smooth conscious track off of their No Mr. Nice Guy album which solidified the signature sound of the legendary duo.
“You Can’t See What I Can See” – Heavy D
Sampling “Bitches Brew” from the album of the same name, Heavy D came with the classic anthem reflecting a different style and solidifying slang for the streets.
“Niguz Talk Sh*t” DJ Evil Dee Remix – Black Moon
Sampling “Bitches Brew” from the album of the same name, DJ Evil Dee put a classic spin on the Black Moon joint solidifying it in Hip Hop history as one of the greatest Black Moon songs under “I Gotcha Open.”
“STFU Pt. 2” – Sean Price
In his 2012 track, “STFU Pt. 2,” Sean Price rips the Alchemist produced track sampling Davis’s ’74 song “Rated X.”
“The Pros” – Queen Latifah
In 1989 Queen Latifah sampled Davis’ “Don’t Lose Your Mind” for her reggae inspired track “The Pros” feat. Daddy-O.
“Crooklyn Dodgers”- Crooklyn
Spike Lee’s ’94 Crooklyn soundtrack features a sample of “It’s About That Time” in the DJ Premier produced joint “Crooklyn Dodgers.”
“2-3 Break”- The Beatnuts
In their ’94 classic “2-3 Break” from their debut album The Beatnuts: Street Level, The Beatnuts sampled Davis’ “Bitches Brew” in the infectious track.
“Down the Line” – Nice & Smooth, Asu and Bass Blaster feat. Melo T, Preacher Earl and Gang Starr
In 1991, Nice & Smooth flexed their verbal skills with the help of partners in rhyme, Asu, Gangstarr, Melo-T, Bass Blaster and Preacher Earl over this funky remix of Charlie Parker & Miles Davis’ collab “Night in Tunisia.”