Hip-hop and anime have been influencing one another quite a bit in the past few years. There are shows from Japan like Samurai Champloo and Afro Samurai that have obvious hip-hop influences, along with animated shows produced in the West like The Boondocks that have anime and hip-hop roots.
What many don’t realize, though, is that there are lots of big-name rappers using samples from anime music and anime episodes in their songs. Here are ten songs from the likes of Lil Yachty and Snoop Dogg that feature anime that you might not have known about!
1Big Boi – Kill Jill (featuring Hatsune Miku)
The most recent example on this list actually samples Vocaloid superstar, Hatsune Miku. People’s minds were blown when Big Boi (who, if you didn’t know, was half of OutKast) dropped this single – no one really expected the rap legend to tap into Vocaloid for his new song. The specific Hatsune Miku song sampled is “Digital Affection To Another 2.0.”
2Lil Yachty – Dipset (samples “Green Bird” from Cowboy Bebop OST)
Lil Yachty has talked before about his love for anime – his favorite is Dragonball Z, and he’s even played Yu-Gi-Oh! with the likes of Filthy Frank. So, perhaps it’s no surprise that he would incorporate anime into his music. Cowboy Bebop is, of course, well-known for its soundtrack, so it makes sense that Lil Yachty would want to tap into something as legendary as Bebop for his own music.
3Chance the Rapper – Nostalgia (samples scene from Gundam Wing)
On Chance’s debut mixtape, 10 Day, he samples a scene from Gundam Wing while he raps about Gameboys and Christmas morning nostalgia.
4Das Racist – Rapping 2 U (samples “Shiki no Uta” from Samurai Champloo OST)
Samurai Champloo is the hip-hop anime, so of course, it’s on the radar of rappers and hip-hop artists. This song by Brooklyn hip-hop group Das Racist samples the ending theme from the anime, and it works perfectly.
5Wiz Khalifa & Snoop Dogg – No Social Media (samples “Main Theme” from Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni OST)
Out of all the anime samples featured on this list, this one is one of the most surprising. Wiz & Snoop sample the main theme from horror franchise Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni. My question is – which one of them is the Higurashi fan? Have they seen it? Or did one of their producers just suggest the beat? I need to know.
6Del the Funky Homosapien – Cyberpunks (samples “Tokyo 2032” from Bubblegum Crisis OST)
Del has said in interviews before that anime, manga and sci-fi regularly influence him, and you can really see that here on “Cyberpunks,” which samples a song from 80s cyberpunk anime Bubblegum Crisis.
7J. Cole – 4 Your Eyez Only (samples “To the Oasis” from Lupin III OST)
The titular song from J. Cole’s fourth studio album actually samples a theme from Lupin III. Good to know J. Cole is reppin’ old school anime.
8Mac Miller – S.D.S. (samples scene from Dragon Ball Z: Broly the Legendary Super Saiyan)
If you listen closely, this Mac Miller song samples Goku yelling, “I’m not Kakarot, I’m Son Goku,” in Japanese. Incidentally, the song was produced by Flying Lotus, who have anime ties since they recently did the soundtrack for Shinichiro Watanabe’s Blade Runner Black Out 2022.
9Cam’ron & Vado – Speaking in Tungs (samples “Shohmyo” from Akira OST)
Here’s another surprising one – here, Cam’ron & Vado sample the Akira OST. Though not necessarily an anime, Cam’ron & Vado also sample a song from the Silent Hill 4: The Room OST on “After That Paper.”
10Tech N9ne – The Rain (samples “Rain” from Cowboy Bebop OST)
Here’s another song that samples the Cowboy Bebop OST. Tech N9ne takes the emotional song, “Rain,” and uses it to back a rap about being on the road touring and missing your family.
Here are just a few songs that sample anime. There are waaaaay more out there, so if you know of any more, share in the comments!