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Get to know 5 American songs that used Brazilian samples

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

For years, Brazil has been a reference in the international music scene, inspiring artists through Brazilian samples, which are excerpts of instrumental or vocal parts of a song used to create a new sound. Below, you’ll find American songs and artists that drew inspiration from Brazilian tunes.

“Who’s Stopping Me” by Big Sean X “Clarão da Lua” by Nazaré Pereira

Big Sean’s hit, produced by Metro Boomin, was released in 2017 on the album Double or Nothing. The sample of “Clarão da Lua”, released by Nazaré Pereira in 1988 is present at the beginning of the track.

Nazaré was a significant figure in various Brazilian rhythms such as forró, frevo, and maracatu. A versatile artist with over 17 albums, the singer and songwriter was awarded the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres medal in 1979, alongside Jorge Amado and Chico Buarque, as an honor for expanding Brazilian culture in Europe.

“Thank You” by Jay-Z X “Ele e Ela” by Marcos Valle

The rapper Jay-Z sought permission from the singer and songwriter Marcos Valle to use the sample of “Ele e Ela” in the song “Thank You,” one of the singles from his album The Blueprint, in 2009.

Marcos Valle is a renowned Brazilian artist born in Rio de Janeiro. He became known for his skill and talent in blending genres and making significant contributions to Bossa Nova. Valle is a living legend in his country with over 30 albums, including the famous Samba ’68, Viola Enluarada, and Previsão do Tempo.

In an interview with the magazine Rimas e Batidas, Valle said he found out over the phone that an American artist had sampled his music but initially didn’t recognize the name. Upon hearing his excited children talking about Jay-Z using their father’s sound to build the song, he understood the visibility and relevance. “I went to the publisher and then I heard Jay-Z’s recording with Kanye West’s production, and I loved it, especially that they took my ‘Ele e Ela’ recording and created their entire work. I find this, once again, extremely interesting, on two fronts: first, for the new musical partnerships and combinations, here you don’t expect, as I told you, you don’t plan, but things come and they are great”, said the singer.

“Let It Go” by G-UNIT feat. Mavado X “Preciso Me Encontrar” by Cartola

The G-UNIT group, founded by 50 Cent and composed of Tony Yayo and Lloyd Banks, immortalized Cartola in the track “Let It Go” on their second album, T.O.S – Terminate On Sight. The album was well-received by the public and reached the top of the charts in the United States and other countries in 2008.

DJ Don Cannon, the producer of the track “Let It Go,” stated to Rolling Stone at the time that he was a huge fan of Brazilian music, one of his favorite movies being City of God, and that he embraced the soundtrack and couldn’t stop listening to Cartola’s music, “Preciso Me Encontrar”. A year later, he decided to sample it.

“New God Flow” by Kanye West X “Bodas de Sangue” by Marcos Valle

Once again, Marcos Valle authorized the use of one of his songs. This time, the artist provided “Bodas de Sangue” to Kanye West for the track “New God Flow”, from the album Cruel Summer released in 2012. Valle’s piano in the track is striking and noteworthy for fans.

Ye was inspired by Valle for the second time. The first was when he produced “Thank You” for rapper Jay-Z, a song that also samples the Brazilian singer.

In the same year as the album’s release, the American artist showcased a short film with the same name as the album at the 65th Cannes Film Festival in France.

“Lite Spots” by Kaytranada X “PONTOS DE LUZ” by Gal Costa

Released in 1973, “Pontos de Luz” is one of the successes of the singer Gal Costa, produced by Jards Macalé and Waly Salomão. In 2016, the DJ and music producer Kaytranada released the LP 99.9% on XL Recordings. At the time, it was innovative among underground beatmakers. From hip-hop to house music, the DJ gathered great collaborations with Little Dragon, AlunaGeorge, and others.

The music video has a unique identity. The highlighted young person enjoys youthful activities alongside a robot always vibrating and involved in the beat, and of course, in the sweet voice of Gal Costa.

At the time, many fans questioned whether the artist had received proper credit for the production. Gal Costa and the producers of her iconic track were duly credited on the AllMusic credits list.

“Pontos de Luz” was also sampled by the DJ and producer Madlib in “Salvador”.


When we encounter relevant North American artists using Brazilian samples, we notice how Brazilian music is on another level of composition and production. There’s a cultural heritage among us that can often go unnoticed, but when recognized by major international names, we are reminded of the preciousness and versatility we carry in our productions. The fusion of cultures enriches the work on both sides, bringing visibility and significance.


O artigo acima foi editado por Ludmila Costa.

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Caroline Magalhães

Casper Libero '26

Journalism student at Cásper Líbero & Copywriter.