In Hip-Hop and Beyond: Sade [Playlist]

zo Zo is a staff writer at Okayplayer where he covers…
Sade white sweater
Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images

Featuring deep cuts and classics from Mobb Deep, Black Star, MF DOOM, J Dilla, Freddie Gibbs, Snoop Dogg, and so many more.

Unlike the countless r&b acts of her generation who, out of the gate, flooded the market with releases, Sade took her time to assemble a one-of-a-kind catalog. 37 years after the release of her 4x platinum debut, Diamond Life, she’s added five more albums to the archive, allowing each to marinate a little longer than the last.

In those margins, reverence for the Nigerian-born, British-raised musician has swelled not just in the pedestrian sphere, but in the sample banks of some of hip-hop’s most celebrated producers. In fact, beatmakers have been quoting and manipulating Sade’s songs since almost the moment she landed, chopping up classic hooks, bending iconic melodies, and pitch-adjusting hypnotic arrangements. Their combined efforts and experiments in r&b have only broadened (and sweetened) rap’s source code. And today, the singer’s 62nd birthday, is a time as opportune as any to chart her impact on hip-hop production.

In commemoration of Sade’s latest lap around the sun, we’re reviving the long-dormant playlist series, In Hip-Hop and Beyond, to explore the production legends, living and passed, who have stitched the honeyed cuts of an r&b innovator into some of the most adored beats of all-time (and even a few that may have slipped under the radar.) Featuring deep cuts and classics from Mobb Deep, Black Star, MF DOOM, J Dilla, Freddie Gibbs, Snoop Dogg, and so many more, our latest In Hip-Hop and Beyond sequence traces Sade’s unheralded contribution to the sampling tradition and celebrates the countless immutables she’s been embedded into.

Hear dozens of songs that have sampled Sade in a special edition of In Hip-Hop and Beyond below. Head over to Okayplayer’s Spotify channel to comb through prior episodes.

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