The use of sampling in hip-hop music in the subcontinent has allowed artists to create a unique sound that blends traditional Indian music with modern hip-hop beats. This fusion of cultures creates a sound that is both fresh and familiar, and it has become increasingly popular as the genre has grown in the region. The samples used in these songs range from traditional instruments to skits in regional languages, and are often used to give the music a distinct regional flavour. This infusion of cultural identity into the music has given hip-hop in the subcontinent a temporal value that sets it apart from other forms of hip-hop music around the world. Whether you are a fan of hip-hop or just interested in learning more about the culture and sounds of the subcontinent, this list of the best samples is a great place to start.
1. Peep The Tareeka by Dhanji & unfuckman
Ahmedabad-based rapper Dhanji joined forces with producer-DJ unfuckman to create a unique sound that showcases Dhanji's signature choppy flow over an acoustic instrumental beat. The track gathers momentum, culminating in a powerful chorus that incorporates a sample from the decade-old Punjabi folk wedding song "Jeeja Kalra Kyu Aaya." This fusion of old and new, Punjabi and Gujarati, highlights the artists' ability to seamlessly blend diverse musical influences and create a sound that is truly their own.
2. NUKKADNATAK 1:1 by ARSLAN
ARSLAN is a trailblazer in the Indian hip-hop community, known for his innovative and raw production style. On 'NUKKADNATAK 1:1', the intro to his album MADHEERA, ARSLAN starts things off with a bang. He uses an interpolation of a Marathi skit called 'Hindi Bimar Hai', which he sourced from YouTube, to create a captivating and creative intro that sets the stage for the rapper shauharty to come in and deliver a powerful verse. ARSLAN's unique and abrasive sound sets him apart as a leader in the Indian hip-hop scene, and 'NUKKADNATAK 1:1' serves as a testament to his innovative production style.
3. Kaafizyada by Udbhav
Udbhav's track 'Kaafizyada' has quickly gained a reputation as a cult classic. The song's lofi and nostalgic vibe is elevated by Udbhav's exceptional use of sampling. Just 25 seconds into the track, Udbhav introduces a stunning sitar sample that enhances his soothing vocals and creates a rich, atmospheric sound that transcends the diverse musical elements in the song.
4. Shikaar by ARSLAN, Devang S
ARSLAN is no stranger to using retro Bollywood samples. While his entire project with Devang S, The Sobhraj Tape, employs the most creative sampling, on the track 'Shikaar', ARSLAN showcases his unique style with a sample from the iconic artist Mohammed Rafi's song 'Gulabi Ankhen'. Through his creative chopping and sampling, ARSLAN transforms the familiar sample into something entirely new and unforgettable.