House music being celebrated in new songs from big-time acts like Drake and Beyoncé has turned into a huge conversation as of late, but the fast-paced, drum and hi-hat-riddled genre has always had a home in popular music. To draw a more direct line, it’s always been part of music that was started by Black people. House started in the late 1970s, by black Chicago DJs and producers. The soul of it, not lost at all with its use of futuristic electronic sounds, translates right into hip-hop. As time has evolved, so has the music. While house is dance music at its core, other elements like techno have been sprinkled into it over the years, but ultimately, those are genres that exist on their own. And, while it may feel like hip-hop is on the verge of a house takeover, the reality is, it’s never left.
Way back in 2006, T.I. released the song "Why You Wanna," the second single from his then- new album, King. The track was somewhat out of the ordinary for the rapper. It was a semi-romantic tale of whisking a woman away from her man, with a beat that samples one of the most popular house songs ever. "Why You Wanna" uses elements from Crystal Waters' "Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)," which was the No. 8 song in the country in 1991, and continues to be seen as a landmark house record. Part of the reason T.I.’s song earned both a gold plaque and became one of his timeless commercial songs is due to the sample and honoring a track that so many hip-hop fans heard growing up.
When it comes to Azealia Banks, she's been one of the pioneers of women in rap to incorporate house into her music. In 2011, her breakthrough track "212" featured the Harlem rhymer displaying her quick-fire delivery and dropping witty bars over Lazy Jay's 2009 beat for "Float My Boat." She also showed love to Machinedrum's knocking 2012 track "DDD" on her own "1991."
Of course, the evolved sounds of house are still in hip-hop. Drake’s recent foray into the genre, Honestly, Nevermind, has bought that conversation to life. The album is mostly house songs in and of itself, but only one track, "Currents," samples an offshoot of house. About a minute in, "Currents" includes DJ Blaqqstar and Rye Rye’s "Shake It To The Ground," looping Rye Rye’s voice for the rest of the song. "Shake It To The Ground" is a Jersey Club song, a version of house that incorporates rap and is directly tied to regional dance styles. So, realistically, "Currents" is a Jersey Club record, right down to the genre’s trademark use of Trillville’s 2004 hit "Some Cut" bed squeaks throughout the beat.
Check out the list below, packed with rap songs that sample popular house songs and find some new favorites in the bunch. From Azealia Banks to Ol' Dirty Bastard and more, here are 21 great hip-hop songs with house music samples you should know,