grant green

Blue Note records have been sampled in more than their fair share of classic hip-hop tracks from the likes of Nas to A Tribe Called Quest to Madlib, among so many others. The Revivalist describes the term blue note as  “a minor interval where a major would be expected, used especially in jazz.” That’s why the list you’re about to jump into features the “blue notes” of Blue Note Records – the sampled sounds that made their way into the hands of some of hip-hop’s greatest artists.

Below is Kendrick Lamar‘s “Don’t Understand” from the XXL Freshman Class Mixtape, one of his lesser known joints released in 2011. The sample is taken from Grant Green‘s “Maybe Tomorrow,” off of Visions. Check the two tracks below and click here to peep the full 8-track listing of sampled Blue Note classics.


  • Theodis Jenkins

    Blue Note just recently released an app for Spotify that shows a great number of tracks from their catalogue that have been sampled. You can listen to the original song, the portion sampled, and the songs that resulted. Delicious.