The Ludacris song that samples Mozart
(Credit: Eva Rinaldi)

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The Ludacris song that samples Mozart

Atlanta is known for its electronic style of hip-hop production. From crunk to trap, the city and its talent have pride in the subgenres they have created. However, some musicians, such as Ludacris, still experiment with other sonics.

Hip-hop from across America rarely samples classical music. Although many producers have used string sections in their music to create uplifting crescendos and often eerie atmospheres, beatmakers frequently look to genres such as rock and funk to draw inspiration from.

One hip-hop track that samples a piece of classical music is Nas’ 2002 hit ‘I Can’ which samples Beethoven’s renowned 1810 piano composition ‘Für Elise’. The intro of Nas’ song samples the well-known melody. However, it adjusts the piece’s key from A-Minor to F-Sharp minor.

‘I Can’ was released in 2002 and peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was the second single from Nas’ sixth album, God’s Son, which debuted at number 18 on the Billboard 200. By the 2000s, the Queensbridge emcee was beginning to fade. However, this song saw him make a surprise entry into the top 20.

Another track that cleverly samples an early piece of European classical music is Coolio’s ‘C U When U Get There’ featuring 40 Thievz, which heavily interpolates the iconic classical piece Johann Pachelbel’s ‘Canon in D Major.’

The introspective song hears the late Coolio (real name Artis Ivey jr) rap lines such as “Stressed by this game of life, I can’t lie / Sometimes I sit at home and contemplate suicide” and “I wanna leave it all just to ‘scape from this cold world / But I’m not quite ready to fall” over emotive strings, the song is definitely cohesive.

The intro hears the string section switch into a G-funk rendition of its chords with a heavy backbeat. The track was the only one from Ivey’s 1997 album, My Soul, to chart, landing at number 12.

However, Atlanta lyricist Ludacris strangely once rapped over a classical beat in his 2001 track ‘Coming 2 America’. Produced by the renowned beatmaker Bangladesh, this song samples Mozart’s 1792 composition ‘Requiem in D minor’. The track is unlike any other on the album Word Of Mouf and is unusual, especially for an Atlanta emcee.

You can listen to ‘Coming 2 America’ and ‘Requiem in D minor’ in the videos below.