Re: Music sampling: Hit or miss?
posted at 10/4/2013 1:00 PM EDT
In response to MattyScornD's comment:
In response to yogafriend's comment:
In response to MattyScornD's comment:
Well, if imitation is sincere flattery, then what is renumerated appropriation...?
If an MC/producer is borrowing a beat or a piece of music because it aesthetically suits the production, then isn't that also a tribute of sorts...saying, 'yes, I want that'...?
From what I understand, they're now quite strict about compensating and acknowledging sources, as they should be. My only problem is with blatant ripoffs without paying the artist.
Again, aesthetically, there's good reason why James Brown riffs are/were so often sampled - because stylistically hip-hop is closest to funk, and because the funky beats are what drive some of the best hip-hop.
The main reason any song (or opening riffs) would be repeatedly sampled is certainly because it has something others covet, but that's not the same as paying tribute. Sorry. Just my take.
Yeah, I want that ... and it's easier to sleaze off of you, than for me to be inspired by you, and influenced by you, and write my own.
Compensation goes without saying; I don't know how anyone who makes a recording using sampling would think they can get away with usage without permission and a monetary agreement, but I'm sure it still happens (along with the lawsuits).
We'll agree to disagree on "tribute", which I'll maintain is a matter of degree. Suffice to say I don't think a musician would permit sampling of their work without at least a thought to the end product's quality...unless they're just in it for the cash, and then, integrity is a bit suspect anyway.
However, at the risk of further stoking this discussion, I'll also state that the very nature of popular art and music is the synthesis and appropriation of familiar material to achieve a new (if derivative) result.
How many singers/artists have attained popularity by explicitly covering other peoples' songs or styles or sounds...? How many british invasion artists appropriated - and mostly credited - american blues/r&b artists to achieve their initial fame? I'll guarantee that, at the time, this very same debate was being had all over the dial.
Matty, we had the Led Zeppelin discussion in a thread, and it forever changed me. :( (NOTE: I'm over it now. =) )
We've had the debate, and as you say, it will continue to surface here and elsewhere. Crediting and being influenced by other artists (no matter what the art "form") is where its at -- and alway will be -- it's that tricky business of putting your own stamp on, and making what you produce / create / develop your own style, and "owning" it ultimately. But at some point, that blurry line will appear, and reappear, and artists are subject to being criticized for copy-catting, stealing, ripping off, etc.
The discussion has been stoked, and that's a good thing. It doesn't make me feel ill at ease about my favorable response to *some* sampled music, but I said from the beginning, it is a selective response, not wholesale. The "DJ" experience is a bit bogus to me, too, for that matter, but I readily can say it's for a younger audience, and even though gaining great popularity here in the US, it's probably more popular abroad, from what I've read.
Covering and sampling have some similar components and overlap, but covering and sampling are not the same practice. Probably the extent of the sampling relates to how close it veers into covering (the Frank Ocean example I gave above), which is where sampling will be interpreted as lame and cheap.
Unless you're a cover band, you probably don't want to get too well-known for your covers. And unless you intend to become an artist that exists solely on sampling, then you probably should only sample music in moderation, too. As I read in an article, if you're bringing back "dope songs" and making them popular in their own right, then sampling can be a very good thing.
Can we at least agree that this overall style of music is not to everyone's liking, and it's a genre unto itself? Most people I know say, "small doses" are fine with them, but not much more.