In this video segment from 2005 Kanye West talks about his perspective on sampling. Kanye who is known for his extensive use of sampling in his production style notes that, “The sample speaks to people in a different kind of way that rap can’t even reach. That sample was so much bigger than me, and that’s saying a lot.” In this excerpt Kanye is referencing his use of “It’s the Hard Knock Life” from the 1977 Broadway musical Annie in Jay-Z 1998 hit “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)”.
Other parts of this video revolve around Kanye’s use of Shirley Bassey’s 1971 James Bond theme “Diamonds Are Forever”. While Kanye relies heavily on the sample, and it surely is not his most creative work, many listeners overlook the fact that “the diamond” was a longtime symbol of Jay-Z’s music label Roc-A-Fella Records, to which Kanye was signed.