For a hip-hop fan, listening to ’60s and ’70s soul albums means regularly encountering familiar breaks. When I first heard “Are You My Woman (Tell Me So)” by the Chi-Lites, I immediately recognized the horns and drums from Beyoncé’s “Crazy In Love.” While I understand that, logically, the breaks in the Beyoncé song are really from the Chi-Lites, I still hear them as “belonging” to Beyoncé’s producer Rich Harrison.In the first of four posts about music composition, Ethan Hein looks at sampling, hiphop, copyright, the moral rights of artists and the idea that breaks only exists once they're used by a producer, starting out from “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)” by Pete Rock and CL Smooth.
The Quietus interviews Hank Shocklee on hip-hop production team The Bomb Squad and Public Enemy's legendary sound
I've got a big jazz background and listening to a lot of jazz records I got an understanding of how you can be eclectic, in terms of your musical scales. You could create melodies and rhythms that were atonal. It didn't necessarily have any real tone but the tone would be determined by what you layered on top of it. So, for example, because Chuck has this kind of baritone voice, Chuck becomes the melody, and the track becomes the accompaniment. If you take a Billie Holiday record, and a Public Enemy record, in a way they are very similar. This is where it gets crazy. And Flav, well basically Flav is a tenor. I read a Clive Davis interview. And to me, Clive is one of the greatest producers of all time. And he said something that was cool, he said the artist always has to be the star, and sound like a star. And the beautiful thing about the Public Enemy records is, Chuck and Flavor provide the melody, on all the records.
Copyright Criminals, the 2009 PBS Documentary, discusses the complex artistic and legal history of sampling in music, featuring interviews with both the samplers (Chuck D, De La Soul, Shock G, El-P, DJ Qbert) and the sampled (George Clinton and Clyde Stubblefield). via egotrip
What does it all mean? In many ways, today's remix culture kicked off in earnest one weekend in 1983 when two ad men (one a recording engineer) spent a weekend in a studio crafting the first pop record made up entirely of samples in the hopes of winning a $100 remix contest. [more inside]
Can I get an amen? An installation featuring an acetate pressing of a well worded spoken piece about copyright law, creative commons, culture and even advertising from the perspective of the history of the now ubiquitous Amen Break featuring audio samples of songs and artists from the well known to the unusual. Please feel free to use this archive.org mirror of the video indicated on the project description page with the entirety of the audio of the acetate at archive.org. (34MB MP4/Quicktime, majority of video portion consists of various views of the turntable, but the audio is quite good.)
A hip hop geek's wet dream... I don't know about you, but to find this site made my day. Dozens and dozens of full length songs that your favorite hip hop producers have sampled. If you can convert streaming audio to mp3, the songs are yours!