What's Playing In My Deck.

Something, anything, with a little hint of the late King of Pop. It’s no surprise that Michael Jackson left his substantial musical imprint all over hip hop, too.

Here’s a list of my five favorite hip-hop joints that include samples from Jackson’s unparalleled catalogue:

1. It Ain’t Hard to Tell by Nas. Jackson sample: Human Nature. A couple of classics from a pair of artists who were, in a sense, pioneers of their genre. Obviously, Nas ain’t touching Mike on a number of levels. But nonetheless, Nas has built quite a legacy in hip hop. This was the song that pretty much launched his career and turned Illmatic into a classic.

2. It’s All About the Benjamins by Puffy, Biggie, The Lox and Lil’ Kim. Jackson sample: It’s Great to Be Here. If you’re wondering where the sample comes in, it’s the last verse of the song. Biggie’s verse. And he kills it. As usual.

3. OPP by Naughty by Nature. Jackson sample: ABC. “OPP” is a song that has held up well over the years. Nothing feels dated about it.

4. You Ain’t a Killer by Big Pun. Jackson sample: With a Child’s Heart. The first Pun single that I ever heard. I was a fan from jump.

5. Breakadawn by De La Soul. Jackson sample: I Can’t Help It. One of my favorite hip-hop acts rhyming over my absolute favorite Michael Jackson song. Both songs put me totally at peace.

Honorable mentions: All That I Got is You by Ghostface (Maybe Tomorrow); Izzo (H.O.V.A.) by Jay-Z (I Want You Back); Hey Lover by LL Cool J and Boyz II Men (The Lady in My Life).

For the record, I’m having quite the time going through all these CDs and digital music files in the name of “research.” And when it’s all done, I plan to make bloggers beat it and scream just like Michael (headz ain’t read-ee).

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