Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Published 9:30 AM by with 1 comment

Sampling: Hip-Hop's Lost Artform

Sampling: Hip Hop's lost artform| Yes, We RiseSampling:  Hip-Hop's Lost Artform

Peace Fam! You know what? I LOVE HIP-HOP!!! I listen to it EVERY day. In fact, I keep one of my 90’s mixes in heavy rotation in the whip. Speaking of which, here’s a taste of what I vibe to on a daily basis:

Anyway, if you listen to this snippet, then you should be able to tell what’s missing in the current state of Hip-Hop. Right from the jump, I think I’m safe in saying that in the mainstream Rap of today, you WILL NOT find rhymes and lyrics as substantive as those in this mix. Don’t get me wrong. There IS some good, new school talent out there; but, most can’t come close to the skills of the heavy hitters from back in the day. The wordplay alone was just more diverse than that employed by many of today’s rappers. Again, I’m speaking of rappers in the mainstream, not the underground where you’ll find cats who spit circles around those you see on TV or hear on the radio today.

Listen closely to the mix I posted. Besides the lyrical content, you’ll hear something that you don’t hear too often any more in Rap songs. What’s missing is a critical ingredient that actually put Hip-Hop on the map and gave the music a distinct, flavorful taste. The missing, tasty ingredient is the lost art of Sampling!

Yes, Hip-Hop was built from taking a snippet or sample of an established song and flipping into a totally different production. Traditionally, you might hear elements of Jazz, R&B, Soul, Funk, Disco, Reggae, Rock, Pop, etc. incorporated in some fashion into a Rap song. Some folks had a problem with it though, saying that Rappers were “stealing” another artist’s song when they used a sample.

In my opinion, I believe that sampling actually helped rejuvenate the careers of certain artists - some who had faded from the limelight, after they had passed their prime. Countless rappers back in the day helped revive and/or keep relevant the careers of cats like James Brown (the most sampled artist in Hip-Hop history), George Clinton, Rick James, Charlie Wilson (of the Gap Band), etc.

Masters of the lost art of sampling are also responsible for making a way for many of the sampled artists to EAT by virtue of paying royalties to artists who owned the rights to their own music. Geniuses in the art of sampling – Pete Rock, J-Dilla, DJ Premier, to name a few - could use an excerpt from an established song, then proceed to chop it up and reformat the samples in such a way to make a totally different groove. Peep this track produced by J-Dilla. If you heard the original songs used in this production, you would be amazed at the skills possessed by this dude!

Since I still rock parties, I have to play a variety of music – old and new. I can dig a lot of the songs that I hear nowadays; however, when I hear Rap songs, I’m not satisfied with what I hear for the most part. It’s like I’m on a diet where I’m being forced to keep certain things off of my plate. It’s akin to feeling weak in the knees if you’re not getting all of the calories you need to function properly. It’s like the industry is trying to starve me to death!!!

Hearing Rap songs with no samples is like somebody telling me that I can’t put dressing on my salad! WTH! To a Hip-Hopper from back in the day, sampling is an essential ingredient in the recipe for REAL Hip-Hop, in my opinion. It blends in perfectly with the Boom and the Bap, making for a mighty tasty treat!

In a nutshell, Hip-Hop without sampling is like Peanut Butter without the Jelly; French Fries from Mickie D’s without the salt; and yes, the infamous Ham without the Burger!!! Have you ever rolled up to the drive-thru at KFC only to be stunned when they say, “Ummmmm…we’re out of chicken.” Yeah, that’s actually happened to me one night in DC. Imagine that happening to YOU! Well, that’s how a feel about a Rap song with Samples in it! Like the new school rapper Rich Homie Quan says, I feel “Some Type of Way” about Hip-Hop without samples. It just doesn’t taste the same!!! Maybe that’s just me. Is anyone out there feeling me on this? Holler back and let me know what’s good!

Beats and Love! DJ Scientific aka Markie B

1 comment:

  1. Great post Alexis! One more bit of advice that my uncle (former state trooper) gave me. If you have tinted windows and you get pulled over at night, roll ALL of your windows down before the cop approaches your car. Why? It will allow him to feel safe by being able to see what's going on inside your vehicle. You don't want him or her to have to imagine what's going on in your back seat. He/she might be edgy! Nah mean!