I consider myself an old school, hip-hop guru. I was born in the early 70’s and I was “open” when hip-hop came on the scene; Grandmaster Flash and the Furious 5, Africa Bambata, KRS1, Big Daddy Kane, etc. Truly I can go on and on. I knew rap/hip-hop sampled music from the past. I did not know how much it was.
The past two weeks “got me to thinking.” Were these hip-hop artists sampling, stealing and/or paying homage to the artists of the pasts? Hip-hop artists have sampled from all genres: jazz, Motown, soul, r&b, funk, country and more. Again the question arises. Were these artists sampling or stealing? I believe the answer could be “all of the above”.
Some artists sample. They pay homage to past and sometimes present artists. The artist’s music being sampled is referenced. This is a form of homage, acknowledging the great efforts and genius of other artists’ talents.
Some artists do not make such references to sampled music. This is obvious stealing. Some hip-hop (and other) artists sometimes seem to “forget” where they borrowed their music from. Music companies have had to hire professionals who were trained in and know a variety of music in order to lessen this robbery. Homage is one thing, stealing is another.
-- David Severin