There are many reasons why I love hip-hop music. It made me appreciate poetry, made me realize that I was good with words, and listening to it in the car with my Dad and brother is one of my favorite things to do.  However, what I love most about hip-hop is how artists sample songs to create some of my favorite tunes.

10 years ago, one of my best friends Bryan created a playlist called Bridging The Gap where he mixed samples with the songs that were created by them. I remember being on 19th and Diamond St in North Philly and him playing Lonnie Liston Smith’s “A Garden of Peace,” and then followed up with Jay Z’s timeless single “Dead Presidents.” It was so beautiful to hear that it made my other best friend Myles shed tears because “Dead Presidents” is his favorite song from Hov.

The creativity in taking something that you grew up listening to — or something you randomly find — then making something new and incredible from it is so dope to me. It reminds of a line from “No Idea’s Original,” when Nas said “No idea’s original, there’s nothing new under the sun / It’s never what you do, but how it’s done.” So in honor of the 50th anniversary of my favorite genre of music, I created a playlist called Sample Platter of some of my favorite samples that were used to make some of my favorite songs.