Over the years, many Frankie Beverly samples have made their way into Hip Hop. For decades now, the music the frontman of Maze made with the band has gotten a lot of love in the rap landscape. With his songs, producers and artists have repeatedly created timeless and nostalgic tracks through the art of sampling. Although he hasn’t released new material since the ‘90s, Frankie Beverly has significantly contributed to R&B, and by proxy, Hip Hop gems. Prominent rappers, including the likes of 50 Cent and 2Pac, have sampled the icon’s music at some point. Evidently, there’s a deep appreciation for the music of Frankie Beverly in Hip Hop. Here are some of his most unforgettable samples in the genre.
“Hustler’s Ambition” – 50 Cent
On October 11, 2005, “Hustler’s Ambition” was released as the lead single from the Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ movie soundtrack. Upon its release, it didn’t take long for the song to gain traction and become a moderate hit. While it wasn’t a chart-topper, it became wildly popular and appeared on charts worldwide. At its core, “Hustler’s Ambition” provides a glimpse into 50 Cent’s life. Emphatically, it chronicles his struggles, ambitions, and relentless pursuit of success. The compelling and introspective track resonated with fans for its raw lyrics, evocative storytelling, and melodic production. Additionally, it contains one of the most popular Frankie Beverly samples in Hip Hop. It features vocal and instrumental elements from “I Need You” by Maze ft. Frankie Beverly. These sampled elements appear in several parts throughout the song.
“The Real One” – 2 Live Crew & Ice-T
As far as unforgettable Frankie Beverly Hip Hop samples go, “The Real One” is certainly one of those. The song was released on April 7, 1998, and is the title track of 2 Live Crew’s eighth album. While it was not a massive commercial success, it was a standout track from the album. “The Real One” was especially enjoyed for its sample of the iconic Maze & Frankie Beverly song, “Before I Let Go.” Besides the many times it has been sampled across genres, “Before I Let Go” has been famously covered by Beyonce and Mary J. Blige. For the sample on “The Real One,” 2 Live Crew used Frankie Beverly’s vocals. In addition, many elements of the original beat were retained as well, and can be heard throughout “The Real One.” 2 Live Crew and Ice-T ate their respective verses up, putting the sample to good use.
“Can U Get Away” – 2Pac
One of the greatest Hip Hop samples of a Frankie Beverly song was created on Tupac’s “Can U Get Away.” This soulful offering from the late icon is a track on his critically acclaimed third album, Me Against The World. While it was not released as one of the album’s singles, it is certainly one of its standout tracks. With evocative lyrics, the song delves into the concept of escaping from a toxic environment for the sake of love. 2Pac was also a full-blown romantic on the track, and he wore the hat proudly. Showcasing his storytelling ability, he vividly painted the picture of a woman trapped in a toxic relationship, and urged her to break free. “Can U Get Away” contains a sample of Frankie Beverly’s “Happy Feelin’s.” The sample, in combination with the beat, creates a soulful and melodic backdrop for 2Pac’s heartfelt lyrics.
While it’s been over a decade since Nate Dogg sadly passed away, his legacy powerfully lives on through songs like “These Days.” It was released as a part of the King of Hook’s debut album, G-Funk Classic, Vol. 1 & 2 (1998). Both Nate Dogg and Daz Dillinger deliver on their verses, and the iconic hook brings it all together. Of the many Frankie Beverly samples present in Hip Hop, the one on “These Days” is arguably the easiest to miss. However, this is precisely why it is so fun to point out and sticks with listeners afterward. Like 2 Live Crew’s “The Real One,” the sampled track on “These Days” is Beverly’s “Before I Let Go.” The sample comes in at the 2:41 mark on “These Days,” and only then. Go give it a listen now to hear what exactly Nate Dogg borrowed from Frankie Beverly’s song.
“Go Ahead In The Rain” – A Tribe Called Quest
A Tribe Called Quest released their critically acclaimed debut album on April 10, 1990. One of the tracks that make up the alternative Hip Hop masterpiece is “Go Ahead In The Rain.” Although it is not among the group’s most popular tracks, the song has been appreciated by listeners since 1990. It samples a special rendition of “Joy And Pain” by Frankie Beverly. The version that is sampled is from the Live In Los Angeles album Maze and Frankie Beverly released in 1986. About 30 seconds into “Go Ahead In The Rain,” the sample kicks in. The interesting vocal sample is taken from the 0:21 mark of “Joy and Pain (Live in Los Angeles).” Although no additional elements are borrowed from the song, that one vocal sample significantly contributes to “Go Ahead in the Rain.” It can be heard throughout the song.