10 Gospel Music Samples We Won’t Forget

by Alana Seldon

June 27, 2022

As the month of June comes to a close, as do worldwide celebrations of Black Music. But, at TV One – #TheSoundtrackOfBlackAmerica is celebrated and REPRESENTed 24/7!

From the club to the cookout, to the pulpit – OUR journey is in OUR music. Throughout #BlackMusicMonth, we took a deep dive into that musical journey with a look at different genres where Black artists have always thrived!

This week – we highlight a genre that truly lifts us up…and holds us down! Gospel music has been a source of celebration and praise during our best times and a source of strength and motivation in our darkest times. It’s influence is rooted in every genre of music and could never be denied.

Here’s a list of some of our favorite Gospel music samples over the years.

1. Father I Stretch My Hands – Pastor T.L. Barrett & The Youth for Christ Choir

The arrangement and power on this track from Pastor T.L. Barrett’s 1976 Do Not Pass Me By album is undeniable.

Father Stretch My Hands, Pt. 1 – Kanye West

A whole new world learned of and recognized the song’s greatness after it became the main sample behind the now famous “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1” from Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo album.


2. Smile – Scarface, 2pac & Johnny P

“Smile” is Scarface’s most successful single to date, as it climbed to #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 shortly after it’s 1997 release.

I Smile – Kirk Franklin

In 2011, Kirk Franklin released “I Smile,” putting a Gospel spin on the record, which became an incredibly popular song and mantra for the community.


3. Anniversary – Tony! Toni! Toné!

This Tony! Toni! Toné! track is one of the most popular celebrations of love and commitment in music. Everyone knows what to do when the beat drops, but you probably wouldn’t expect it to be sampled in the gospel genre!

Melodies from Heaven – Kirk Franklin & The Family

But, if anyone can do it – it’s Kirk Franklin! “Melodies From Heaven” is a certified bop in the gospel world and beyond!


4. Rain – SWV

SWV’s “Rain” is a timeless record. The legendary female R&B group landed a Billboard top 10 hit with this one, and it’s another whose sound resurfaced in the gospel world.

Rain – Sunday Service Choir

Kanye West’s traveling gospel ministry or “Sunday Service Choir” became popular over the last couple years as the hip-hop icon crossed over into the gospel genre. Their powerful originals and renditions of popular songs, including SWV’s “Rain” draw fans from all over the world to Sunday Service concerts.


5. Never Would Have Made It – Marvin Sapp

Talk about a song that’ll get you through – Marvin Sapp’s “Never Would Have Made It” will always hit different for those who know they only “made it” because God had you! The Bishop’s biopic, titled after his award-winning record will air on TV One later this summer (August 21).

Never Would Have Made It – Teyana Taylor

Teyana Taylor is one of many artists to sample/recreated the testimony through music over the years. She released her rendition in 2018 on her K.T.S.E. album.


6. More Than a Woman – Aaliyah

”More Than a Woman,” released as a posthumous single, has received much success since September of 2001 and remains a bop to this day!

More Than a Lover – Erica Campbell

Gospel legend Erica Campbell sampled the late singer’s record in 2014 with “More Than a Lover.”


7. Run’s House – Run DMC

Legendary hip-hop group Run DMC released this single in 1988 from their fourth studio album Tougher Than Leather.

Down With the King – Bishop Eddie L. Long feat. Tye Tribbett

Bishop Eddie L. Long and Tye Tribbett flipped it upside down in 2009 with gospel hit “Down With the King.”


8. Funkadelic – One Nation Under a Groove

Funkadelic’s 1978 One Nation Under a Groove album emphasized the funk part of the band’s name! Their title track could stand alone.

Stomp (Remix) – God’s Property & Kirk Franklin

Kirk Franklin and God’s Property did what they do best and gave the world another gospel hit in 1997, sampled from Funkadelic. The “Stomp (Remix)” is a fun, iconic record that will always get church folks moving!


9. Shackles (Praise You) – Mary Mary

If you weren’t already familiar with the Campbell sisters aka Mary Mary by 2000, this single definitely introduced you to them! A record that made you wanna dance but also let you get your praise on, the impact of “Shackles” will be known and felt for generations.

 Set Me Free – Lecrae feat. YK Osiris

Lecrae and YK Osiris released their rendition “Set Me Free” in 2020 and it also shares a message of freedom.


10. Ha-ya (Eternal Life) – Mattie Moss Clark & The Clark Sisters

There aren’t many gospel groups that can say they’ve done it quite like Jackie, Twinkie, Dorinda, Denise and Karen, better known as The Clark Sisters! Directed by their mother Dr. Mattie Moss Clark, “Ha-ya (Eternal Life)” is one of those records that cemented the family as icons in the gospel genre and beyond.

Family Feud – JAY-Z feat. Beyonce’

On his award-winning 4:44 album, released in 2017, Jay-Z sampled the Clark Sisters’ “Ha-ya” in his track “Family Feud.” The popular track gave the world a vulnerable perspective and candid lyrics about challenges within his a marriage with Beyoncé.


Did you know that all of these songs were samples? Let us know and also tell us what your all-time favorite Gospel song is! 

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