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Hip-Hop's knack for recycling has given it the identify it is tagged with today. Nothing perks the ears more than hearing the song that your favorite cut took a sample of, especially when you had no idea. It makes the ingenuity of producers to be so real. Some beats though, whether containing samples or not, find themselves polished or left as is to serve the purpose of another rapper years later. With this comes the lack of remembrance for the tracks that the instrumentals were originally pressed on. Some are obvious to most, like Big Pun and Fat Joe's "Twinz" which is originally rapped over by Dr. Dre and Snoop on "Deep Cover," or T.I. rapping over the poppy "Gypsy Woman" on "Why You Wanna". The idea is instead to show you some you might find interesting.

The instrumentals on this list are not simply sampling a facet of a beat, but rather use the beat as is, getting tweaked a little bit here and there at most. They are not remixes or freestyles either- their titles contain no allusion to the original track. So no Lil Wayne tracks from when he was running the mixtape circuit, all of his tapes being littered with remixes. Additionally, this is in not throwing shade at the later versions, but rather appreciation for seeing something that could be repurposed and shared with a new audience. Whether that credit is due entirely to the rappers who spit on them or not, I do not know what happens behind closed doors.

Young Bleed "How You Do Dat" Ft. Master P & C-Loc (1998) / Problem "Like Whaaat Ft. Bad Lucc (2013)




Okay, the title of Problem's 2013 rendition has a slight (direct) allusion to the original, but 15 years later "Like Whaat" is pretty far removed from its elder. "How You Do Dat" was ultimately amidst the peak of Young Bleed's success, making the most of No Limit's reign towards the end of the millennium. Originally produced by Craig B, BLC, and Happy Perez, the NOLA cut is notable for it's highly addictive whining synth, making it fitting for a west coast rapper like Problem. The synth and all are still present, with the exception of the southern twangs included in the original. Problem even covers the hook, exaggerating it and cleaning it up a bit. See the transition below, from visuals with Bleed, Master P, and John Lister Jr. to Problem, E-40, and Snoop Dogg.

Preferred Version: This one is really a toss up. Maybe I'm too young, but "Like Whaaat" stays on rotation more often.

Project Pat "I Choose You" (2002) / UGK "International Players Anthem (I Choose You)" Ft. OutKast (2007)




Again, going against the grain of the title of the latter song not alluding to the original, but for good reasons. I think most people thought that the parenthetical (I Choose You) was in reference to the omnipresent sample. Also, with no signs of Project Pat in the song or video, a lot of people probably missed it altogether. Both songs slap, with heavy props due to DJ Paul and Juicy J, quite frankly two of the most underrated producers to ever do it (Paul in particular). While Mista Don't Play really did do his thing on "I Choose You," it just wasn't fair to stack up against the OutKast and UGK collab. Project Pat is extremely talented and fun to listen to, but "International Player's Anthem" is exactly what its title says it is: anthemic. Either way, the Willie Hutch sample is so effective and recognizable in both, making it a classic instrumental. 

Preferred Version" Like I said, I love Project Pat's original version, but to take it over "International Players Anthem" would just be too hipster. 

E.S.G. "Swangin' and Bangin' (Screwed) (1994) / Drake "H.Y.F.R." Ft. Lil Wayne (2011)



I only wish that E.S.G. were regarded more so as a lyrical prophet or a conscious guru like some of his contemporaries so that the easily bothered hip-hop heads would grit their teeth and seethe at this one. This one was tricky to list due to the fact that the parallel of beats is only existent in DJ Screw's chopped and screwed version of "Swangin' and Bangin'". "HYFR" is not quite a direct rip of the track, and to the credit of producer T-Minus- who did some of better production on Take Care- it is a creative refurbishing of the instrumental. Similar to the first pairing on the list, this one is more of a polish up, but gets the point across that it is essentially the same beat just 17 years later.

Preferred Version: Ocean of Funk is a classic,  but I'm not going to repress the fact that I have a soft spot for Take Care era Drake. If it were the original version of "Swangin' and Bangin'" things would be different. 

Three 6 Mafia "Late Nite Tip" (1996) / Plies "Rock" (2017)




If I did some extreme research and let this list run as long as it possibly could, Three 6 would probably be on it more than anyone else. The instrumental originally used for "Late Nite Tip" is a perfect example of the longevity of the triple 6's production sound. The piano riff sounds like it could be the score for every time an 80's slasher gets shown on screen. What was once used by the Memphis posse as an expression of what they want to do when they're up late and get horny was flipped by Plies for something a bit more romantic, and eventually meme-like with the viral dance videos that came with it.

Preferred Version: I like what plies did with this, I really do. The original however is a staple in the Mafia's catalogue and a timeless classic, so my allegiance stays with "Late Nite Tip".

2Pac "Pain" (1994)  / J. Cole "See World" (2010)



This one might not shock many, but some younger folk might be totally unaware that the popular cut from Cole's breakthrough Friday Night Lights rips the instrumental from "Pain" by Pac. "See World" does not list anything about the track being a remix or cover of "Pain", so if you've managed to miss out on the Pac version it's understandable that this is news to you. The beat changes a bit in tempo when it was touched by Cole 16 years later, but all in all it is unmistakable for its predecessor. 

Preferred Version: "Pain" is Pac in full form- reeling an audience in and keeping them there for the full length of the track, along with a nice guest spot from Stretch. My pick goes to "Pain". 

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