To boil down a genre as complex as hip hop to just eleven different sample packs is a great feat. From its origins in the Black Power movement to its current existence as the music de jour of youth culture, hip-hop has undergone more iterations and variations in its life than almost any other genre. With this status as the currently popular form of music, many young producers have aspirations to become the next El-P or Zaytoven. For those looking to create their own sound and launch their production career, look no further for inspiration and ideas than the eleven recommendations below.
Quicklook: Best Hip Hop Samples, Loops, & Beats
Adding Samples & Plugins To Your DAW
While every DAW is different, for the majority of them, adding samples is as easy as downloading the audio file and dragging it into the track where you want the sample to live. For usage in a sampler such as ESX24, loading the samples directly in the digital instrument is the best way to use samples. Lastly, for those who use Splice, navigating to the desktop menu for Splice and then selecting and dragging the samples you want to use into your DAW works fantastically.
Top Hip Hop Samples
For a genre as new as hip-hop, the sounds and themes behind the music bear little resemblance to its origins. In the current era of hip-hop, southern-style beats (Metro Boomin, Zaytoven, 36 Mafia) and staccato triplet flows (Migos, Future, Lil Uzi Vert) remain dominant while older, more relaxed styles of production have fallen out of favor. The underlying instrumentation has evolved as well, with trap drum-oriented production and atmospheric synths becoming the new norm in rap. To find some of the best hip hop samples ready for your usage, we have selected eleven sample packs that truly stand out.
1. Southside’s “I Invented Trap” Sample Pack Vol 1.
Southside, the famed Atlanta producer and rapper, has gained recognition throughout his career by producing grimy, gritty tracks for Kanye West, Gucci Mane, Jay-Z and more. His style blends rolling 808 kicks, chaotic hi-hats, and piercing snares to create a dystopian trap vision. Teaming up with Splice Sound, Southside has released his “I Invented Trap” Sample Pack Volume 1- a 285 sample trap mecca, composed of 60 synth hits, 200 drum sounds, and more. Coming in with just a ten bpm range of tempos and majority unpitched drums, the “I Invented Trap” sample pack is perfect for those who want to construct their own drum kits from the ground up.
2. Zaytoven Drumkit
As far who the most impactful producers in hip hop are, one would be hard-pressed not to mention Zaytoven. As one of the longest collaborators of Gucci Mane, Future, and Migos, his signature style of melodic pianos and menacing trap 808s has defined the sound of modern hip hop. Partnering with Splice, Zaytoven’s Drumkit brings 81 samples direct from the producer himself to your DAW. To quote the man himself, “You get the Zay Splice kit, it’s almost like you’re collaborating with or featuring Zaytoven! “
3. Raw Skillz- Raw Cuts
The newest launch from Raw Cutz, Raw Skillz fuses Jazz, Funk, and 90s hip-hop samples to create an emotional, raw soundscape. With beat matching, tempo keying, and post-processing already included in each sample found within the pack, Raw Skillz delivers a ready-to-go rap pack designed to make production as painless as possible. In addition to the murky basses, melodic pianos, and atmospheric bass guitars found within the pack, Raw Skillz offers an Everything Bundle- giving you 282 kit groups and 100 projects for Native Instruments Maschine Kits as well as 50 racks and 50 projects for Ableton Live. These sounds are pre-programmed, allowing any midi file to be transformed into an acoustic masterpiece.
4. ISR- Experimental Hip Hop
The largest hip-hop sample pack in this list by far, ISR- Experimental Hip Hop featuring a massive 1.48 GB of rap samples, ranging from vocals, drums, basses, atmos, snap loops, movie clips and more. In addition to the litany of samples featured in this kit, 15 ISR loop kits, keyed and tempo marked to 80 beats per minute, are included within the pack. These complete compositions include entire songs, musical bridges, choruses, and more, all pre-built and ready to be used royalty-free.
5. Lex Luger: The Sequel
Once again, Lex Luger returns to Splice Sound to drop his latest sample pack: Lex Luger: The Sequel. While many have tried to imitate the iconic sounds of tracks like “H•A•M,” “Blowin Money Fast,” and “Hard in da Paint,” none have come close to the musical vision of Lex. Returning to Splice to release over 180 drums, synths, and SFX samples, this exclusive collection provided direct from the artist himself will provide you with every 808 needed to strike fear into other people’s cars and to force your neighbors into filing noise citations.
6. UZ- Real Trap Samples Vol. 1
While Zaytoven and Southside have commanded headlines throughout their career, Quality Good’s UZ moved below the radar. From the iconic line “Damn son, where’d you find this?” to creating a 30+ series of minimalist trap beats on SoundCloud, the impact of UZ’s work is found in almost every lo-fi hip hop record. Partnering with Splice, UZ delivers that unique sound to producers at long last. Apocalyptic synth lines, looming bass thuds, and rattling hi-hats are core to this sample pack, with distorted field recordings offered as an additional feature. If you find yourself bored of artist packs, let this quote from UZ dispel your fears “I decided to do this sample pack because none of them were representing me and my sound. I’d rather give you the Real Trap Shit myself.”
Best Lofi Hip Hop Samples
Lofi Hip-Hop has seen an unprecedented resurgence over the past several years, fueled by youtube channels, memes, and the subsequent discovery of the actual artists that created the music. XXXtentacion, MF Doom, Clipping., and Travis Scott have all used lo-fi production to create sonic masterpieces. The name lo-fi stems from low fidelity, a term to describe audio recordings of low quality. This low quality, vintage sound is what has driven the aforementioned artists to revisit this era of hip-hop and transform it into something modern and enjoyable.
7. Ultra Warm Lofi
Featured in my previous article on Best Lofi Hip Hop Samples, Black Octopus’s Ultra Warm Lofi is pure grooves- resonant drums, swirling synths, and voiceless SFX samples all engineered to evoke relaxation. The glitched risers and uplifters included in pack give important transitional elements to new producers, simplifying one of the most arduous processes in production. Lastly, Ultra Warm Lofi includes a special selection of vinyl glitches, pops, and crackles ready to be placed in any DAW. Without manually recording a record player, this pack may be as close as you can get to a true lo-fi sound.
8. Organic Vibes- Vinyl Beats & Soul
Another returning sample pack from my prior article on Best Lofi Hip Hop Samples, Organic Vibes has continued to stand out and impress in an increasingly oversaturated landscape. One hundred twenty individual drum hits, thirty drum loops, and 40 muted SFX samples are included in this sample pack- all with the grainy, clipped sound one would expect from lo-fi hip hop. Some standouts from this pack include densely layered guitar stacks, dysthymic sax lines, and vintage double bass riff samples.
Free Hip Hop Samples
For those who are not well-versed in production, the concept of truly “Free Samples” seems like it must have a catch. For some less scrupulous companies, that concern is often very realistic. However, reputable companies such as Cymatics and Loopmasters offer some royalty-free, original, and commercially licensed samples for free. These samples are able to be used in commercial projects (read: selling beats and making albums) without owing a dime to a digital vendor.
What do Travis Scott, Juice WRLD, and London on da Track all have in common? Blvck, by FXRBES BEATS. Blvck is a free, 203 sample pack featuring trap and hip-hop claps, snares, kicks, and more- all direct from artist’s tracks. The real standouts in this pack are the 808s, which feature sophisticated filtering and mastering integrated into the sample. For those who want free distorted kicks, driving 808s, and pulsing synth lines, Blvck is the perfect sample pack for you.
10. Astro – Hip Hop Sample Pack
Astroword: the number one rap album and masterpiece from Travis Scott captured eyes and ears alike around the world. Inspired by the unique production that cemented Astroworld’s impact, Cymatics created Astro- a sample pack composed of the most iconic and experimental sounds Cactus Jack has ever produced. Completely free, including royalties. The samples in this pack contain beat switches akin to “Sicko Mode,” spacy samples found in tracks like “NC-17” and “5% Tint”, and the piercing 808 kicks from “Stargazing.”
11. Cymatics: Posty
White Iverson- the song that launched Post Malone’s career and catapulted him into superstardom. Through his reinterpretation of traditional rap tropes, Posty created a unique, genuine sound for himself. With this release from Cymatics, that unique sound is yours to experiment with for free. Royalty-free, over 100 samples, MIDI files, and Serum patches are included in this pack, allowing not just for instrumental experimentation but to rework and recreate some of the most iconic songs of the current hip-hop genre.
Adding Samples to Your Sound
While rap will no doubt continue to evolve, the current zeitgeist of production is one that favors southern, dirty beats with rolling basslines and spectral synth melodies. Some newer groups have found success in revisiting the past or creating an entirely new sound, but for most commercially successful rappers, the samples above compose the majority of their biggest hits. If you have ever listened to a Future song and wondered how you could make a beat like Metro Boomin, wonder no more after trying some of these samples out yourself.