Essential Mixtape: 25 best Arabic-inspired rap songs ever
(Credit: Hip Hop Hero)


Essential Mixtape: 25 best Arabic-inspired rap songs ever

Sampling is an age-old practice in hip-hop. In fact, some of the most popular songs in the genre contain other tracks within their composition. Regardless of the type of music producers sample, it has always been an integral part of hip-hop production. Now more than ever, producers (whether established or up-and-coming) have a wealth of music to choose from and can discover music from all parts of the world, including Arabic music.

However, sampling in its early days, especially within hip-hop, meant young African-Americans sampling classic artists. Whether that be James Brown or Nina Simone, it usually stayed within the realms of blues, funk and soul. But as hip hop progressed and experimentation came into play, producers began widening their search for samples. They abandoned the unwritten rule that they could only sample music from their own demographic.

It began with electro-hip-hop producers sampling European EDM, and from there, the search only widened. As well as rock, another type of music that began to see itself get integrated into hip-hop was Arabic music. Most notable from the Middle East and North Africa, old songs were finding their way into new exciting tracks that were hitting the charts. Timbaland and Scott Storch were two of the spearheads of this in the early 2000s.

In this article we are going to explore all the hip-hop songs that have either directly sampled or interpolated Arabic styles of music into their production and try and narrow them down to the 25 best Arabic-inspired rap songs ever made.

See the list we have compiled below.

25 best Arabic-inspired rap songs ever:

  • ‘Paid In Full’ – Eric B & Rakim
  • ‘Big Pimpin’ – Jay-Z ft UGK
  • ‘Hood Scriptures’ – Foxy Brown
  • ‘Ugly’ – Bubba Sparxxx
  • ‘Shake Dat Sh*t’ – Shawnna ft Ludacris
  • ‘Arab Money’ – Busta Rhymes ft Ron Browz
  • ‘1Train’ – A$AP Rocky ft Kendrick Lamar & Joey Bada$$
  • ‘Candy Shop’ – 50 Cent ft Olivia
  • ‘Lean Back’ – Terror Squad
  • ‘Conceited’ – Remy Ma
  • ‘React’ – Erick Sermon ft Redman
  • ‘Learn’ – Dizzee Rascal
  • ‘Can You Hear Me Now – Lil Kim ft Missy Elliott
  • ‘Baby Boy’ – Sean Paul ft Beyonce
  • ‘Roll Deep Regular’ – Roll Deep
  • ‘U Make Me Wanna’ – Jadakiss ft Mariah Carey
  • ‘Jus A Lil Bit’ – 50 Cent
  • ‘We Ballin’ – Memphis Bleek ft Young Chris & Proof
  • ‘Let’s Do It’ – Method Man & Redman
  • ‘Jamaican Ting’ – Beenie Man
  • ‘Magic City’ – 2XL
  • ‘The Way I Am’ – KnocTurnal ft Snoop Dogg
  • ‘You Don’t Know’ – Loon
  • ‘Our Father’ – Outerspace 
  • ‘Bang Bang’ – TNT ft Newham Generals