Rap on Broadway…wait it’s Broadway in Rap!

Today in class we discussed the song “Hard Knock Life” by Jay Z which sampled from a popular Annie Broadway classic. I had heard this song before but never really considered the fact that Jay Z had blended two totally opposite genres of music together in one song. He made it work but it wasn’t well blended, it was obvious that the part from Annie wasn’t naturally in that song.

The presence of this musical sound within rap caused me to question if this had happened with any of the songs form my favorite Broadway hit, Wicked. To my surprise there had been more than one rap hit that sampled songs from the shows soundtrack. I decided to pick one out and break it down a little to see if the the meaning strayed from the original song and how it flowed compared to some of the other sampled tracks produced at the time.

The song I selected was “Popular” by S-Preme, which contained a sample of the song “Popular” from Wicked the musical. the song can be heard here.

if you listen to this song and have every heard the wicked soundtrack or seen the musical you notice that this song is basically a huge sample they use the same two or three parts of the Broadway throughout literally every single second of this song. I don’t think that there is a single second of this track that hasn’t been touched by Broadway gold. Even though I think this song makes a mockery of the original it is well put together and has good solid flow where you can’t tell the music isn’t naturally supposed to be there. and from what i can tell the theme of this song does not stray too much from what was conveyed in Wicked. All in all I conclude that this is a proper use of a sample in which you don’t disrupt the meaning of the original song and let it keep it’s dignity.

Here’s the original broadway hit in case you wanna jam 🙂


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