Sly & The Family Stone hip hop samples

As we’ve already read this week, Sly & The Family Stone changed the course of music. The band had a unique place in music due to their appeal to several genres including funk, soul, and R&B, as well as rock and, later, hip hop.

In his 1998 book For the Record: Sly and The Family Stone: An Oral History, Joel Selvin writes, “there are two types of black music: black music before Sly Stone, and black music after Sly Stone.” Though their influence on hip hop wouldn’t be fully realized until the birth of the genre, Sly & The Family Stone had a major impact on hip hop artists and their musical tastes, as well as the music that they would end up creating.

Few things are as cool to listen to as the mixing together of Sly & The Family Stone music and hip hop. Here are a few of my favorites (FYI – it’s hip hop, so this post may not be safe for tiny ears):

1. “Because I Got It Like That” by The Jungle Brothers (1988)

Sly & The Family Stone sample – “You Can Make It If You Try”

The Jungle Brothers - Straight Out The Jungle

“Because I Got It Like That” appeared on The Jungle Brothers’ debut album Straight Out the Jungle. Though this is material for a future bandbyweek post, I will say that the importance of this album can not be overstated. It kicked off the Native Tongues collective (future creative stomping ground for De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest) and is commonly referred to as one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time. Not surprisingly, Sly & The Family Stone are right in the middle of it.

2. “Rise ‘N’ Shine” by Kool Moe Dee feat. KRS-One and Chuck D (1991)

Sly & The Family Stone sample – “Stand!”Funke_Funke_Wisdom

This song appears on Funke, Funke Wisdom, and it was the most successful song on the album. In fact, it reached #1 on the Billboard Hot Rap Singles chart. Personally, I don’t know what to credit that to: the fact that Sly & The Family Stone and Billy Preston are sampled in the track or the fact that they decided to spell it F-U-N-K-E.

3. “People Everyday” by Arrested Development

Sly & The Family Stone sample – “Everyday People”


These guys have done it all. They provided a peaceful hip hop alternative to the gangster rap of the early 90s, they sued the Fox Network over the (supposed) use of their name for the greatest comedy ever put on television, they trailed behind Boys II Men’s “End of the Road” with this song in 1992, and they took and restructured a Sly & The Family Stone chorus for their own song. They completed my bucket list!

2 thoughts on “Sly & The Family Stone hip hop samples”

  1. Wow – a sincere, positive appraisal of Arrested Development’s contributions to Hip Hop. Refreshing! I feel like the group’s earnest ‘positivity’ has become a somewhat of a punchline. It’s nice to see them get some respect.


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