J Cole, Kelly Rowland and 4 Popular Foreign Artists Who Have Sampled or Interpolated Nigerian Songs

  • Sampling is one of the best ways to enhance music creativity as TheTalk.NG looked into the moments Foreign artists incorporated the Nigerian sound
  • A few days ago, prominent music magazine Billboard triggered Nigerian with a long list of US songs sampled or Interpolated by Burna Boy
  • The concise list below recounts the times American stars like J cole, Rowland, and many others lifted elements from the Nigerian music scene, some dating back to the classical era

On May 5, Billboard buzzed Nigerian social media with a list of the 14 foreign songs sampled or interpolated by Grammy Award-winning singer Burna Boy.

The long list revealed Burna Boy sampled Toni Braxton’s He Wasn’t Man Enough on Last Last, Jeremiah’s Birthday Sex on City Boys, and the late Michael Jackson’s Dirty Diana on Monsters You Made.

Tiwa Savage, J Cole, Asake7 foreign popular samples of Nigerian artists.
Credit: @tiwasavage, @jcole, @asakemusicSource: Instagram

Sampling aids in international delight when artists from around the world use various indigenous sounds to create a global sonic appeal.

One important thing that Sampling does aside from crossing genres and generations is to rebirth old classics. This phenomenon promotes the timeless quality of art

Below are some Nigerian songs that have been a deep ocean of inspiration for many foreign musicians.

‘Freak Me’ by Ciara (2018) samples Tiwa Savage’s ‘Before Nko’ 2015

US singer Ciara tried her hands on Afrobeats for the time, resulting in the release of Freak Me, which starred Tekno. The song is heavily influenced by Tiwa Savage’s sophomore album, RED, her singer ‘Before Nko’ in particular. Following concerns that the sample was not appropriately approved before release, Ciara later acknowledged the song’s inspiration on social media.

She said: “Shout out to Tiwa Savage for the inspiration and sample used in #FreakMe! She’s a beast! I fell in love with the melody when I first heard it in Africa 3 years ago. So good. #AfroWave”

Listen to Ciara’s Freak Me below:

Listen to Tiwa Savage’s Before Nko below:

‘Let Nas Down’ by J Cole (2013) samples Fela Kuti’s ‘Gentleman’ (1973)

When it comes to legendary samples of Nigerian music, Fela Anikulapo Kuti is one of the artists whose music is most frequently used.

‘Let Nas Down’ is from J. Cole’s sophomore album, featuring a sample of Fela Kuti’s ‘Gentleman’ hook and riff. Other hip-hop stars like Nas, Missy Elliot, and The Roots have also used Fela Kuti’s Afrobeat influences.

Listen to J Cole’s Let Nas Down below:

Listen to Fela Kuti’s Gentleman below:

‘Everyday Life’ by Coldplay (2019) samples Femi Kuti and Harcourt Whyte

Coldplay’s eighth studio album, ‘Everyday Life’, includes three songs, ‘Arabesque’, ‘Champion Of The World,’ and ‘Èkó,’ inspired by and infused with Nigerian rhythms, demonstrating their love for African culture.

‘Champion of the World’ began with a sample from Harcourt Whyte’s ‘Otuto Nke Chukwu N’ojija Aha Ya’ Igbo gospel song. Harcourt Whyte was regarded as the ‘Father of Igbo church music’. During the Civil War, Whyte’s songs provided Igbos comfort and courage to live through. His career saw him compose over 600 hymns and compositions in the Igbo language.

Femi Kuti’s Afrobeats groove was included in “Arabesque.” The outro also consists of a Fela Kuti sample at the end, with the famed Afrobeat pioneer chanting “Music is the weapon” seven times.

‘Èkó’, a song that pays homage to Africa’s largest commercial city, Lagos, featured Tiwa Savage’s sonorous vocals.

Listen to Coldplay’s Champion of the World below:

Listen to Harcourt Whyte’s Otuto Nke Chukwu below:

‘A Million’ (feat. Quavo) by Veronica Vega (2019)

‘A Million’ by Veronica Vega featuring US rapper Quavo samples Famous Apala singer Musiliu Haruna Ishola’s ‘Ise Oluwa Ko Seni Toye’ released in 2000

‘A Million’ started with Musiliu Haruna Ishola ‘s vocals and the indigenous Apala beats before Quavo entered with his crisp rap lyrics.

Following the release of this record, Ishola’s estate sought due clearance before Vega could release the video. She later recognised the sample in a social media post, writing:

“I feel incredibly honoured to be able to clear the sample especially because of the message of God that was in the original record”

Listen to Quavo’s A million below:

Listen to Musiliu Haruna Ishola’s Ise Oluwa Ko Seni Toye below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BffJwUp11F

‘Hitman’ by Kelly Rowland (2020) samples Fela Kuti’s ‘Mr. Follow Follow’ (1976)

Kelly Rowland, an American superstar released ‘Hitman’ in 2020, with Fela Kuti’s “Mr Follow Follow” prominently featured in the song’s driving beats and instrumentals.

‘Hitman’ was selected as the NFL Song of the Season for 2020. Despite the fact that the two songs deal with distinct issues, the admiration for the Nigerian classic has been retained.

Listen to Kelly Rowland’s Hitman below:

Listen to Fela Kuti’s Mr. Follow Follow

‘Warrior Song’ by Nas (2002) samples Fela Kuti’s ‘Na Poi’ (1971)

American hip-hop star Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, better known by his stage name Nas, 2002, sampled Fela’s song “Na Poi” on his single “Warrior Song”.

The rapper teamed up with American R&B star Alicia Keys on the song, which was part of his critically acclaimed sixth studio album, God’s Son.

Nas is also known to have Nigerian ancestry, as his father, originally Charles Jones III, now Olu Dara, traced his roots to Nigeria’s Yoruba tribe.

Listen to Nas’ Warrior Song below:

Listen to Fela Kuit’s Na Poi here:

‘Cry No One’ by Stormzy (2024) sample Asake’s ‘Lonely At The Top’ (2023)

British rapper, singer and songwriter Michael Ebenezer Kwadjo Stormzy sampled the chorus from Nigerian singer Asake’s 2023 hit ‘Lonely at The Top’ on his recently released single “Cry No One’

The song, owned by another British rapper Headie One, Features Stormzy and US record producer Tay Keith.

The ‘Blinded By Your Grace’ crooner received praises from music lovers online for his subtle approach in sampling Asake’s song.

Listen to Stormzy’s verse on Cry No One below:

Listen to Asake’s Lonely at The Top below:

Asake ignores French security during his music video

TheTalk.NG earlier reported that the singer caused a buzz over his visit to France. The YBNL star was captured on camera when a French security guard tried stopping him during his music video shoot.

Asake was seen performing for the videographer in front of him when the French official asked him to stop filming on the streets.

However, the musician was brave enough to snub the officer and directed his videographer to tilt his camera toward the elderly man while still carrying out his duties.

Source: TheTalk.NG


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