Parable of the Sower was referred to in hip-hop artist Talib Kweli's song "Ms. Hill" off his mixtape Right About Now: The Official Sucka Free Mix CD. In the song, which is about Lauryn Hill, Kweli references how Lauryn Hill used to come into Nkiru (a bookstore Kweli owns in Brooklyn, New York) and liked to buy Octavia Butler books, namely Parable of the Sower. "We used to chill at Nkiru / her moms was a customer / she used to love to buy the books by Octavia Butler / Parable of the Sower, the main character's name was Lauren".
In Lauren Beukes' 2013 novel The Shining Girls, the body of one of the victims, Jin-Sook Au, a social worker, is found with a copy of Parable of the Sower.
Part of the central verse of Earthseed, "All that you touch you change, all that you change changes you", is included in track 2 and 6 of Sugar Candy Mountain's album 666.
The work of hip hop/R&B duo THEESatisfaction was influenced by Octavia Butler. The third track from their 2012 album awE NaturalE, "Earthseed", contains themes from the Parable series: "Change there are few words / That you can say / We all watch things morphing everyday."
In season two of the Netflix series The OA (themes of inter-dimensional travel and NDEs), Parable of the Sower is recommended by a book seller.
In season three of the HBO series High Maintenance, the character Cori is seen reading Parable of the Sower in a bar.
In the bonus track (Exquisite Corpse) for rapper George Watsky’s album X Infinity, Chinaka Hodge raps:
“I popped fo' no doze, I'll read this formal prose Bet you Butler knows how to make us free A Lauren Olamina in Trumped up world A black magic woman still being called girl But the only constant is change holmes…”