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Beyoncé recently sampled Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'” in her new track “Ya Ya.” Sinatra revealed she once begged an icon from a different medium to use that song. He made Sinatra’s dream come true, but in the process, he created a scene with a troubling undercurrent. 

Nancy Sinatra wanted ‘These Boots Are Made for Walkin” in a famous movie

Sinatra’s cover of Cher’s “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” was used quite literally in a sequence in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill. During a 2004 interview with Hot Press, Sinatra discussed this scene. “I’m a huge Tarantino fan, so him choosing me over Sonny & Cher was very humbling,” she opined. “I had a similar experience when a year before Full Metal Jacket came out I got word that Stanley Kubrick wanted ‘Boots’ for the soundtrack. I sent him a telegram saying, ‘Please, please use my song in your film!’ I was begging him because to be involved at any level with someone of his stature is an honor.”

For context, Kubrick is one of the most important movie directors ever. His filmography includes 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Eyes Wide Shut, and Lolita. By the time he made Full Metal Jacket, he was widely adored by critics and movie fans. His influence is still being felt today, as the recent films Barbie and Everything Everywhere All at Once both reference 2001.

Stanley Kubrick used ‘These Boots Are Made for Walkin” in an offensive way

Regardless of Kubrick’s talent, the use of “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'” in Full Metal Jacket is questionable, to say the least. The song is often considered one of the biggest feminist anthems of the 1960s. In the film, it plays when a Vietnamese prostitute tries to seduce some American soldiers during the Vietnam War. Ultimately, she and her crew steal a camera from one of the Americans, revealing that her supposed seduction was a ruse.

On one level, the use of “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'” in Full Metal Jacket could be seen as undermining the feminist overtone of the original song. On the other hand, the prostitute outsmarting the men sexualizing her could be understood as a subversive moment. However, this scene has come under fire in recent years. In an NBC News article, Nancy Wang Yuen decried the movie’s depiction of an Asian prostitute as racist.


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Nancy Sinatra revealed what it was like for rappers to sample her hit song

In Hot Press, Sinatra revealed she’s also happy when rap artists sample her music. “I’ve also got a rap group sampling my version of ‘Bang Bang,'” she said. “It’s a spin-off of 2 Cent — hang on, is that the right

A reporter told Sinatra that the rapper in question is called 50 Cent. “I need to do some brushing up on my hip-hop!” she said, laughing. “My first reaction was, ‘If this is about cop killing maybe I should decline,’ but the words could be taken in several different ways so I decided to go ahead and do it. It’s all speeded up so I sound like Minnie Mouse!” Sinatra said she liked when different generations of artists worked together rather than seeing each other as rivals.

Sinatra has a big musical legacy and part of that legacy is how filmmakers and musicians have interpreted her catalog.