To this day, Disney is known for its iconic songs like “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid and “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” from The Lion King. These timeless tunes have withstood the test of time. Disney has even had some more modern songs like “Stand Out” in A Goofy Movie and the entire High School Musical franchise soundtrack.
Though Disney has taken modern-day aspects of the music industry and incorporated them into their films and shows, the reverse has also happened. One Atlanta-based hip hop duo used one of the most recognizable songs from Snow White to create a hip-hop song that we still dance to today.
Hip-hop has always taken inspiration from unlikely sources
Rappers and hip-hop artists have used everything from their personal experiences to pop culture references to influence their sound and shape their music and lyrics. One major example of this is Jay-Z’s epic hit, “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)” from his 1998 album, Vol. 2 … Hard Knock Life.
Broadway fans and those who know the legendary musical, Annie will certainly recognize the hook in the Brooklyn born rapper’s single. Jay-Z got permission to sample the song from the 1977 musical which was a major gamble but turned into a massive win. At the time of its release, the song became the most commercially successful Jay-Z single at the time.
It earned the 4:44 rapper a Grammy Award nomination, it spawned several parodies, and it is still known as one of the greatest hip-hop songs of all time.
Inside ‘Snow White’s ‘Whistle While You Work’
Annie is not the only unlikely source for hip-hop inspiration. Disney’s very first animated feature, Snow White also inspired a massive hit in the early 2000s. “Whistle While You Work” featured in the 1937 animated film is a song Snow White and the forest animals sing when they stumble upon the Seven Dwarfs’ cottage and begin cleaning.
Composed by Frank Churchill who is also the composer behind “Some Day My Prince Will Come”, the lyrics to the song were penned by Larry Morey. The song has remained a classic n Hollywood, appearing time and time again in various popular culture moments including obvious ones like DuckTales and Looney Tales as well as more out of the box references like Family Guy and Pretty Litte Liars.
However, one of the major samples of the song didn’t come until 2000 in a very unlikely way.
‘Snow White’ inspired The Ying Yang Twins’ ‘Whistle While You Twurk’
In 2000, The Ying Yang Twins released “Whistle While You Twurk” on their debut studio album, Thug Walkin’. The album included three different remixes of “Whistle While You Twurk” which played off of iconic song from Snow White.
Since The Ying Yang Twins’ song is so riddled with cuss words and vulgar language, we’re actually shocked the rappers were given the clearance to complete the song.
However, most rap and hip-hop lovers know that two decades later, the song is still a bop.
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