Some of the many samples on this track include "Pump Me Up" by Trouble Funk and "Funky Drummer
" by James Brown, which gets a mention in the lyrics ("Sound of the Funky Drummer").
Discussing the song with Keyboard
magazine in 1990, Chuck D explained: "We approach every record like it was a painting. Sometimes, on the sound sheet, we have to have a separate sheet just to list the samples for each track. We used about 150, maybe 200 samples on Fear of a Black Planet
. 'Fight the Power' has, like, 17 samples in the first ten seconds. For example, there's three different drum loops that make one big drum loop: One is a standard Funkadelic thing, another is a Sly thing, and I think the third one is the Jacksons. Then we took some sounds from a beat box. The opening lick is the end of a Trouble Funk record, processed with doubling and reverb. And the chorus is music going backwards."