By now, you’ve probably had all the Michael Jackson tributes you can handle. (This is probably the first place you should have turned to for that.) Anyway, I’m not one to weep over the death of a celebrity – one of the strangest phenomenons to me (especially after watching events unfold on Twitter).
That’s not to say Jackson didn’t influence my listening habits. Of course he did. I can remember playing my brother’s vinyl copy of Thriller and friends dressing as Jackson for Halloween when I was younger.
But in many ways, hip-hop offers the best kind of tribute through the art of sampling. It’s a tangible form of gratitude and recognition of inspiration. And while I’m sure there are dozens and probably hundreds of others that I don’t have or haven’t heard, here’s just a few hip-hop tracks from my library that sample Jackson, with Nas’ It Ain’t Hard to Tell my favorite.