Jazz and Beyond
While many people hate the idea of a sample, I see it as an art form. A good sample can make a good song great and these are the songs from 2011 that utilized the sample best.
Otis - Kanye West & Jay Z needed some background music for their afternoon events which included cutting up a million dollar Maybach and doing some donuts. Oh, and creating a hit single of their collab album "Watch The Throne". The song they chose to sample was Otis Redding's "Try a Little Tenderness". Kanye did a great job of starting the song of with the original version and letting people hear Mr. Redding's vocie before bringng in a beat on top of his own vocals. The best part of the sample has to be the looping of the cut up parts of Otis Redding's voice over which Kanye and Jay lay down their vocals. At least the duo gave Otis the credit he deserves by naming the song after him. I almost used the duo's sample of Will Ferrell in Blades of Glory but I'm not sure that's technically a sample.
Donald Trump - Mac Miller had a year of success that can only be described as meteoric. He rose from being just another rapper coming out of Pittsburgh to one with a ton of potential and the chance to be a bonafide star. "Donald Trump" is perhaps, most responsible for bringing him most of this fame. The song even got the name sake talking about Mac Miller. But behind this song was a great sample of Sufjan Steven's Vesuvius. Look around the 50 second mark for the sample. They took this mellow track and speed it up to create a massive hit.
Work Out - J. Cole recenlty released his debut album and he used somewhat of an unconventional sample here. Instead of using the beat of a song, he used the vocals. He takes the chorus of Paula Abdul's 'Straight Up' and uses it in his song to great effect. The rhythm of the chorus matches the rest of the song and flows together nicely.
City Kids - OCD Moosh & Twist are a lesser known duo, but they take everyone's favorite Journey song "Don't Stop Believing" and put some bass and snare drum to make it over the top and we have a great beat for a hip hop song which has a great flow and the effects make for a great chorus. By speeding up the beat and adding some effects, they create a new sample that's all their own.