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J.Cole Cali Christmas Performance

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Today marks Billie Holiday‘s centennial, and the world is celebrating the legacy of the songstress. Nicknamed “Lady Day,” her powerful vocals have found their way into hip-hop quite a few times, be it rappers cleverly reusing her lyrics or choosing to invoke some of her best music.

In honor of Billie Holiday’s 100th birthday, The Urban Daily lists eight of the best rap songs with samples from her recordings.

J. Cole – ‘Cost Me A Lot’

Kanye samples Nina Simone‘s cover of ‘Strange Fruit’ on this Yeezus track, but it’s worth mentioning as Nina’s take is just as haunting as the original. Kanye has always commented on Black America and race relations in his music, so it is not surprising that he decided to flip the civil rights song for his own music. The lack of a coherent social message or theme on his song, however, was a bit strange.


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On Billie Holiday’s 100th Birthday, 8 Rappers And Singers Who Sampled Lady Day  was originally published on