The Beatles have an incredible hold of influence on nearly every genre of music beyond just rock music—they have influence everywhere. As arguably the most iconic rock band of all time, their legacy continues to live on in all kinds of music, beyond just rock, and that includes unexpected places like rap and hip hop songs.
While there are plenty of different ways that an artist can use inspiration from another band or artist in their music—from a mention in the lyrics to an actual sample of the song itself, there are so many different methods an artist can take.
While some of these songs are extremely subtle with their references, others toss it all out there. Whether you’re more of a classic rock fan or you’re in it for the rap, there are so many choices that both kinds of music fans can enjoy. Here are five rap songs that were actually inspired by The Beatles.
5 rap songs inspired by The Beatles:
‘White Ferrari – Frank Ocean
‘White Ferrari’ by Frank Ocean utilises a Beatles sample, but it often goes under the radar, especially considering how well the entire track blends together with vocals and all. However, listening to the songs together makes it undeniable.
The song in question that Ocean samples is ‘Here, There, and Everywhere’ off the Revolver album. Since it’s a deeper cut, people don’t always catch it right away.
‘Loud’ – Mac Miller
The late, great Mac Miller was apparently a bit of a Beatles fan himself, grabbing a cheeky sample from ‘Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds’ for his track ‘Loud’.
Even though this is an extremely popular sample, he uses it in such a subtle way that it can sometimes be easy to forget that he’s using one of the most iconic bands of all time.
‘King of Rock’ – Run-D.M.C.
Throwing it back for a classic rock and classic hip hop cossover, Run-D.M.C. once used a bit of Beatles inspiration not as a sample, but by making a lyrical reference instead! While many of these tracks feature samples, ‘King of Rock’ pays tribute a little differently.
A funny story, the lyrics go, “There’s three of us/but we’re not the Beatles,” because Rev Run thought there were three Beatles. A little bit of a faux pas on that one!
‘Gorgeous’ – Kanye West
Did we forget that Kanye also mentioned The Beatles in one of his songs before, too? On his song ‘Gorgeous’, Kanye West says the lines, “They rewrite history, I don’t believe in yesterday. What’s a black Beatle, anyway?”
Many credit him with the phrase ‘Black Beatle’ because of this lyric, at least as far as referencing it in rap music is concerned. Regardless, it’s a nice lyrical nod nonetheless.
‘The Heart Gently Weeps’ – Wu-Tang Clan
You can probably tell by the title what this one is a reference to, and you’d be right on the money. ‘The Heart Gently Weeps’ uses a sample of The Beatles’ iconic song, ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’.
Technically, this is one of the first rap songs to actually utilise a sample from a Beatles track, and it seems they were on to something, considering how great this song turned out to be.