Jimi Hendrix was an American rock guitarist, singer and songwriter who managed to make a huge impact in the music industry, even though his career only spanned a total of 7 years, with just 4 of those in the spotlight of the mainstream. He’s one of the most celebrated musicians of all time and is well known as one of the industry’s most revered guitarists, but just how did Johnny Allen Hendrix manage to influence music and music artists?
Well, what Hendrix was first and foremost, was an experimenter. He was willing to try new things and to push the boundaries as he went in search of new sounds. He did this on his electric guitar, and it’s no wonder that he’s known as one of music’s finest electric guitarists thanks to the magic he produced. His experimental approach opened the doors for his peers and musicians of the future to apply everything he had learned and more.
Hendrix unfortunately died at just 27 years old, but many music producers and artists have suggested that if he had lived longer he would have eventually made the move into the hip hop and rap genres. Eddie Kramer, who had produced music for Hendrix suggested the “whole idea of street music would have definitely influenced him.” So, it will come as no surprise that artists such as A Tribe Called Quest, Beastie Boys, Chuck D, Fat Joe, Joey Bada$$ and Mos Def have all sampled Hendrix’s work.
If you’re a fan of hip hop you’ll no doubt have heard Lupe Fiasco’s track “Fire”, which was built on a sample of Hendrix’s 1967 hit with the same name. Method Man and Redman combined in 1995 to produce “How High”. This piece was based on a sample of a Hendrix hit, this time using arguably his most popular track, “Purple Haze”. And since it was such a popular hit NetEnt even decided to include Purple Haze symbols in their Jimi Hendrix Slot Game.
Future, 34, not only went as far as calling himself Future Hendrix but he released an album last year titled HNDRXX, pronounced as Hendrix, which received critical acclaim all around the world. Now, the American isn’t a guitarist and has no plans to pick up the electric guitar in order to follow in Hendrix’s footsteps, but he does see the late musician as an icon of the industry and an inspiration.
Speaking in 2015 about Hendrix, Future said, “I took to his character, specifically being someone who’s different, not afraid to try new things in music. I go outside my comfort zone many times for the sake of just being creative musically. I’m not just a hip-hop artist; I feel like I’m a rock star. Jimi Hendrix, he was a rock star. But he played guitar; I don’t. I’ve just found ways to use words to make my mark in this history book.”