Home>Genres>Reggae>What Reggae Song Did Kanye Sample In Famous

What Reggae Song Did Kanye Sample In Famous What Reggae Song Did Kanye Sample In Famous


What Reggae Song Did Kanye Sample In Famous

Written by: Corilla Guyton

Discover the reggae song sampled by Kanye in his hit track "Famous" and explore the fusion of reggae and hip-hop in this catchy tune.

(Many of the links in this article redirect to a specific reviewed product. Your purchase of these products through affiliate links helps to generate commission for AudioLover.com, at no extra cost. Learn more)

Table of Contents


Reggae music is a genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s and quickly gained popularity worldwide. Known for its distinctive rhythms, powerful lyrics, and messages of social consciousness, reggae has had a profound impact on the music industry as a whole. From Bob Marley to Burning Spear, reggae artists have left an indelible mark on the global music scene.

One artist who has been influenced by reggae in his own unique way is Kanye West. With his innovative approach to music production and fearless exploration of different genres, Kanye has incorporated elements of reggae into his songs, adding a captivating and vibrant flavor to his already eclectic sound.

In his hit song “Famous” from the album “The Life of Pablo,” Kanye West showcases his undeniable talent for sampling. Sampling, the practice of taking a section of an existing recording and incorporating it into a new composition, has been a staple in hip-hop and other genres for decades. Kanye is particularly known for his ingenious use of samples, often taking snippets from various genres to create something entirely new.

It is intriguing to uncover the reggae influence in Kanye West’s music, as his unique blend of genres creates a distinct sonic landscape. In “Famous,” Kanye West wields his sampling prowess to incorporate a reggae element that adds depth and intrigue to the song. By delving into the reggae influence and identifying the specific reggae sample used in “Famous,” we can gain a deeper appreciation for Kanye’s musical vision and his ability to seamlessly fuse different genres together.


Background of Kanye West’s “Famous”

“Famous” is a track that was released by Kanye West in 2016 as a part of his seventh studio album, “The Life of Pablo.” The album received critical acclaim for its genre-bending sound and experimental production techniques. “Famous” stood out as one of the album’s standout tracks, both for its controversial lyrics and its unique musical arrangement.

The song features a combination of hip-hop, R&B, and pop influences, with Kanye’s signature production style shining through. The track is characterized by its laid-back tempo, catchy melodies, and a memorable vocal hook that draws listeners in from the first chords. The lyrics of “Famous” caused quite a stir upon its release, addressing themes of fame, relationships, and the effects of celebrity culture.

What sets “Famous” apart from many other songs is Kanye’s exceptional use of sampling. Throughout the track, he seamlessly integrates snippets from various songs, giving it a distinct and diverse sound. This sampling technique has become a trademark of Kanye’s music, allowing him to create a rich tapestry of different sounds and genres within a single composition.

With “Famous,” Kanye West pushes the boundaries of sampling even further, incorporating elements of reggae into the mix. The infusion of reggae adds a unique rhythmic and melodic element to the track, creating a dynamic contrast to the hip-hop and pop elements present in the song. This fusion showcases Kanye’s ability to blend different genres seamlessly, and highlights his appreciation for the diverse musical landscape.

Understanding the background of “Famous” helps to contextualize the song and provides a foundation for exploring the reggae influence within it. By examining Kanye’s use of sampling and his willingness to experiment with different genres, we can better appreciate the artistic vision behind “Famous” and unravel the true essence of the reggae influence within it.


The Use of Sampling in Music

Sampling is a creative technique that has been prevalent in the music industry for decades. It involves taking a portion of an existing recording, whether it be a drum beat, a melody, or a vocal snippet, and incorporating it into a new composition. Sampling allows artists to pay homage to their musical influences, create unique sounds, and bridge the gap between different genres.

In hip-hop, sampling has played a crucial role in the development of the genre. Artists like Kanye West have elevated sampling to an art form, using it as a tool to express their creativity and push the boundaries of musical innovation. By incorporating samples from various genres, such as soul, funk, jazz, and reggae, hip-hop artists create a sonic collage that reflects their diverse musical tastes.

Sampling not only adds depth and complexity to a song, but it also establishes connections between different eras of music. It allows listeners to recognize familiar sounds and create a nostalgic connection to the past. Moreover, sampling can introduce listeners to genres and artists they might not have been exposed to otherwise, fostering appreciation for the rich musical history that has paved the way for contemporary music.

While sampling can be a powerful form of artistic expression, it also raises legal and ethical concerns. Artists must obtain proper clearance and permissions to use copyrighted material, ensuring that they are respecting the intellectual property rights of the original creators. Additionally, sampling should be done in a way that respects the integrity of the original recording, adding something new while still paying homage to the source material.

Sampling has become an integral part of music production, allowing artists to create unique and innovative compositions. In the case of Kanye West and “Famous,” the use of sampling not only adds texture and depth to the song but also serves as a bridge connecting hip-hop and reggae influences. By understanding the significance of sampling in music, we can better appreciate the artistic choices made by artists like Kanye and the seamless integration of different genres in their work.


Reggae Influence in Kanye West’s Music

Kanye West is known for his eclectic and boundary-pushing approach to music, constantly pushing the envelope and incorporating elements of different genres into his compositions. Reggae has played a significant role in shaping Kanye’s sound, adding a unique and vibrant flavor to his music.

Reggae’s influence can be heard in various aspects of Kanye’s work, from his production choices to the lyrical themes he explores. The infectious rhythms and laid-back grooves synonymous with reggae have found their way into many of Kanye’s tracks, creating a distinct sonic texture.

One of the key elements of reggae that has influenced Kanye’s music is the emphasis on socially conscious lyrics. Reggae has a rich history of addressing social and political issues, and Kanye incorporates this same sensibility into his own music. He uses his platform to shed light on topics such as racism, inequality, and personal struggles, aligning with the socially conscious ethos that reggae embodies.

In terms of production, Kanye has often utilized reggae-inspired instrumentation and techniques. The prominent use of basslines, skanking guitar rhythms, and the incorporation of dub effects are all hallmarks of reggae that can be heard in Kanye’s tracks. These elements add depth and texture to his music, creating a dynamic and complex listening experience.

Furthermore, Kanye has collaborated with reggae artists and producers, further solidifying his connection to the genre. He has worked with legends like Bob Marley’s son, Damian Marley, on the track “Made in America,” showcasing the intertwining of their respective musical styles.

By infusing reggae influences into his music, Kanye West demonstrates a deep appreciation for the genre’s history and impact. His ability to blend genres seamlessly is a testament to his artistic vision and the endless possibilities that emerge when different musical styles collide.

The reggae influence in Kanye West’s music not only adds a unique flavor to his compositions but also highlights the richness and versatility of reggae as a genre. It serves as a tribute to the enduring legacy of reggae music and its ongoing influence on contemporary artists like Kanye.


Identifying the Reggae Sample in “Famous”

In his song “Famous,” Kanye West seamlessly incorporates a reggae sample that adds a distinct flavor to the track. To identify the specific reggae sample used in the song, we need to analyze the elements that contribute to its reggae infusion.

The reggae influence in “Famous” can be heard primarily in the rhythm and instrumentation. The laid-back, offbeat rhythm that defines reggae music serves as the foundation for the song. The infectious groove and syncopated accents are characteristic of reggae, creating a captivating and head-nodding experience.

Furthermore, the use of a skanking guitar pattern, a technique commonly found in reggae music, is another indication of the reggae influence. The distinctive strumming style adds a rhythmic texture and an unmistakable reggae flavor to “Famous.”

Identifying the specific reggae sample in “Famous” requires a careful examination of the song’s production and sound elements. While it is challenging to pinpoint an exact sample without official documentation, dedicated music enthusiasts and experts have speculated on the possibilities.

One theory is that the reggae sample used in “Famous” comes from Sister Nancy’s track “Bam Bam.” “Bam Bam” is a classic reggae tune released in 1982 that has been sampled by numerous artists throughout the years. The rhythmic elements and vocal snippets from “Bam Bam” mesh well with the overall vibe of “Famous,” suggesting that it could be the reggae sample used in the song.

Another theory is that the reggae sample comes from the reggae pioneer Toots and the Maytals. With their iconic hits like “Pressure Drop” and “54-46 That’s My Number,” Toots and the Maytals have been a significant influence in the reggae genre, and Kanye may have incorporated one of their tracks into “Famous.”

While the exact reggae sample used in “Famous” remains open to interpretation, it is clear that Kanye West intentionally utilized a reggae influence to enhance the overall sound and vibe of the track. His expert use of sampling has allowed him to seamlessly blend reggae elements into his own unique musical style, creating a captivating and dynamic listening experience.

Ultimately, the reggae sample in “Famous” serves as a testament to the versatility of reggae music and its ability to transcend genres, infusing its infectious energy into music that reaches a global audience.



Kanye West’s incorporation of reggae influences in his music, particularly in the song “Famous,” showcases his artistic vision and ability to seamlessly fuse different genres. The reggae genre’s unmistakable rhythms, socially conscious lyrics, and unique instrumentation have left an indelible mark on Kanye’s musical journey.

Through the use of sampling and collaboration with reggae artists, Kanye eloquently pays homage to the reggae genre while creating a distinct sonic landscape that is uniquely his own. The infusion of reggae elements adds depth, texture, and an infectious groove to his music, captivating listeners and elevating their listening experience.

As fans and music enthusiasts, delving into the reggae influences in Kanye’s music opens up a world of exploration and appreciation for the diverse range of musical genres. It highlights the interconnectedness of different styles and reinforces the notion that artistic expression knows no boundaries.

Despite the ongoing evolution of music, reggae continues to be a powerful and influential force. Its impact is evident not only in the work of artists like Kanye West but also in the broader musical landscape. As listeners, we can embrace and enjoy the reggae-inspired tracks while recognizing the rich legacy that has shaped the music we love today.

In conclusion, the reggae influence in Kanye West’s music, particularly in the song “Famous,” showcases the interplay between different genres and the endless possibilities for artistic expression. By incorporating reggae elements, Kanye adds a unique flavor to his compositions, creating a dynamic and captivating listening experience for his audience. Through his sampling techniques and collaborations, he pays homage to the reggae genre while pushing the boundaries of musical innovation. The reggae influence in Kanye’s music serves as a reminder of the richness and diversity of musical genres and highlights the timeless appeal of reggae to audiences worldwide.

Related Post