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Sampled: Phil Collins' In the Air Tonight

Updated on March 13, 2013
Song: In The Air Tonight
Artist: Phil Collins  
Album: Face Value
Released: 1981 Virgin Records


When I first heard Phil Collin's In The Air Tonight, I didn't pay much attention to it until much later when it was sampled by two of my favorite rappers, 2pac Shakur and DMX. I already knew where they had borrowed from and In the Air Tonight would become one of my favorite rock songs of all time.

Eminem's reference to the song in his obsessed fan turned murderer/suicide victim single, Stan, only served to peak my interest further and Iater learned that there was an urban legend attached to the song which was kinda eerie since spiritually torn rappers DMX and Tupac has already successfully made it into their own cult hits.

Of course, what made In the Air Tonight more interesting was the long list of hip hop artists who had sampled the song to create something of their own. From DMX to Lil Kim, from 'Pac to Nas - hip hop had a new obsession. Can you feel it?

2Pac - Starin' Through My Rear View

Possibly the most popular version of the sample, 2pac Shakur's Staring (At The World) Through My Rearview was released in 1997 off the Gang Related Soundtrack - a film that he had starred in with James Belushi. The song, movie and soundtrack was released after his death in 1996.

In Staring Through My Rearview, 'Pac rhymes over an enhanced sample of the Phil Collin's instrumental.

DMX - I Can Feel It

Maybe this is the most popular of the samples, I don't know... but DMX's, I Can Feel It off his debut album, the hardcore, grimefest - Its Dark & Hell is Hot is my favorite of any of the songs that sample Phil Collin's In the Air Tonight. The troubled rapper comes across as spiritually deep on this track which would be followed by The Prayer which is just what it sounds like.

These are the first two of the albums last three tracks (if you don't count the bonus) and is supposed to be the rappers moment of redemption - a different vibe from the rest of the album but still manages to remain coherent and relevant to the albums theme.

I Can Feel It features a reworked version of the Phil Collins' instrumental courtesy Harlem producer Dame Grease and also an unknown singer reusing the chorus from In the Air Tonight.

Nas - One Mic

Not as obvious as the others but the beat to Nas' One Mic actually samples In the Air Tonight. If you listen closely you will hear since its not that hard to really pick up especially at about 1:30 into the song.

One Mic is one of the singles from Nas' classic album Stillmatic released in 2001.

Lil Kim - In The Air Tonight

Hmmm...a song with the same exact title. So what would you expect?

In The Air Tonight came from a 2001 tribute album to Phil Collins where hip hop and R&B artist covered his songs. Lil Kim covered and featured most of the 1981 hit on her version of In the Air Tonight. Phil Collins is singing on the chorus and portions of his song as well at some points on Kim's track. The intro features some of the original song but then changes to a more head-nodding instrumental version of the original beat.

Its kinda hot but if you were'nt a fan of Lil Kim before this probably won't make you into one.

Sean Kingston - I Can Feel It

Suicidal rap-singer Sean Kingston's sample of In the Air Tonight is a very bouncy track suited for the clubs.

In his sing songy brand of rapping, with his Jamericann twang, Sean Kingston cues a sample of Phil Collins on the chorus singing the line "I Can Feel It" as he raps to a chick how he can show her that "me haffi make you mine."

Still More!

The list of songs that sample Phil Collin's In the Air Tonight still goes on. Some are obvious and some are rather subtle.

Here are some other songs that sample Phil Collin's In the Air Tonight:

  • New York City - Young Buck
  • Rest In Peace (In The Air) - Joe Budden
  • Edge of Night - Shaquille O'Neal feat. Bobby Brown
  • Silent Warrior - Krayzie Bone
  • Everybody Loves A Star - Doug E Fresh


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    • Leds profile image

      Leds 5 years ago from France

      Greats list bro. They are just too good. Love all of them.

    • lust maker profile image

      lust maker 7 years ago

      i my self am a fan of this song dude you should check out my 4 hubs

    • kpfingaz profile image

      kpfingaz 9 years ago from ~~~

      Glad you can feel it! 8)

      Thanks. You can look up the others on Youtube.

      If you listen to Phil Collin's version and the Nas some of the beat from the original is stripped away to make the One Mic instrumental.

    • DJ Funktual profile image

      DJ Funktual 9 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove

      Excellent Hub dude! i fkn loved it! Hell yeah! thanks for this. I didn't hear it in One Mic or Krayzie Bone, good stuff.