9 surprising artists who have sampled Slayer

A collage of Chuck D, Liam Howlett and Lil Peep
(Image credit: Chuck D (Will Ireland) Lil Peep (Getty))

Even the best song can be improved with that familiar white-hot blast of a Slayer riff. Don't argue, it's just science. Thanks to the statisticians at WhoSampled.com, we can tell you there are 64 songs officially recorded as featuring a Slayer snippet.

Here, then, after much sifting of wheat and chaff, are nine of the best audio borrowings from the legendary Californian metallers' ungodly fare.

Metal Hammer line break

Public Enemy – She Watch Channel Zero?! (1988)

The best use of any Slayer sample, period. She Watch Channel Zero?! is taken from Public Enemy's second album It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back – one of the greatest hip hop releases of all time – and was produced in part by Rick Rubin, who signed the act to his label Def Jam. It's no surprise that Angel Of Death, produced by Rubin two years previously, finds a home on this warning of the brain-rotting properties of "garbage" TV programming. Flavor Flav would later become a household name by starring in his own reality TV show, Flavor Of Love

Ill Bill – Awaiting The Hour (2007)

Taken from the 2007 album Black Metal, Brooklyn rapper Ill Bill – older brother of death rapper Necro – uses the half-time riff from Raining Blood on Awaiting The Hour. It's worth checking out his track UBS (The Unauthorized Biography Of Slayer), which is basically a potted history of the thrasher's career: "Age 15, I was so mesmerised, had every word from Angel Of Death memorised."

The Prodigy – Wake Up Call (2004)

A South Of Heaven sample popped up on this Prodigy single featuring Kool Keith. Taken from the album Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned, Hanneman and King's guitars sit neatly next to a Pink Floyd sample (Time from 1973) and Coldcut's Beats & Pieces track from 1987. If you want to take a look at the samples which appeared on Prodigy's back catalogue, take a look on the WhoSampled site and have a snack to hand. It's quite the deep dive.

Utah Saints – I Want You (1993)

Harrogate dance duo Utah Saints harnessed the frantic pace of War Ensemble and stitched it seamlessly into I Want You. This dance floor filler was the fourth single taken from their 1992 self-titled debut and reached number 25 in the UK singles chart. 

Ho99o9 – Mega City Nine (2018)

Here's where the world of samples can get confusing. Californian turntablists Invisibl Skratch Piklz manipulated the closing moments of South Of Heaven and it was this warped and woozy noise that featured on Slipknot track Only One. The Iowan nonet's sample popped up this terrifying single by New Jersey punk rappers Ho99o9, but it's Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King's hail of righteous feedback that informs the three aforementioned tracks. 

Lil Jon And The East Side Boyz – Stop Fuckin' Wit Me (2004)

Crunk pioneer Lil Jon wins an award for cramming three Slayer samples in this track taken from his 2004 album Crunk Juice. We've got the riff from Raining Blood, with the creepy opening of Mandatory Suicide and that wall of feedback from South Of Heaven – the royalties from this must have surely paid for all the bits needed for Kerry King's herpetological collection. Even after two decades, the song still slaps.

Atari Teenage Riot – Destroy 2000 Years Of Culture (1997)

In 1997, Atari Teenage Riot and Slayer teamed up for No Remorse (I Wanna Die) as part of the genre-melding Spawn soundtrack. Later that year, Alec Empire's nihilistic crew released Destroy 2000 Years Of Culture, a song from their album, The Future Of War. Opening with the line 'It's a dead world', the song hinges on a crunching riff taken from Dead Skin Mask and makes you want to wing a can of soup at a billboard or something.

Fat Nick ft. Lil Peep – Oh It's Lit (2016)

Following their collaboration on the 2016 track P.S. Fuck You, C**t, Fat Nick teamed up with the late rapper Lil Peep later that year on Oh It's Lit. It features the main riff from Raining Blood, but is buried under a ton of beats and lyrics about Percocets, drinking syrup and jewellery. We don't want to take the words at face value, but it seems quite different to getting revenge on God.

Invisibl Skratch Piklz – Six Shots: That Means The Gun's Empty (2000)

San Francisco hip hop DJs Invisibl Skratch Piklz – try typing that into your phone without autocorrect getting all up in your business – released The Shiggar Fraggar Show! Vol. 1 in 2000. Recorded live at the Hip Hop Slam in Oakland five years previously, Six Shots: That Means The Gun's Empty features Disk, Q-Bert, Shortkut and Shiggar Fraggar plying their trade all over Behind The Crooked Cross, taken from the band's 1988 album South Of Heaven. For added shits and giggles, they increase the original record's speed towards the end and reduce Tom Araya's embattled cry to a pitch not heard since Alvin, Simon, and Theodore released their 1959 debut Let's All Sing With The Chipmunks.  

Simon Young

Born in 1976 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Simon Young has been a music journalist for over twenty years. His fanzine, Hit A Guy With Glasses, enjoyed a one-issue run before he secured a job at Kerrang! in 1999. His writing has also appeared in Classic RockMetal HammerProg, and Planet Rock. His first book, So Much For The 30 Year Plan: Therapy? — The Authorised Biography is available via Jawbone Press.