Copyright Criminals (2009)

This documentary gives an overview on the subject of sampling in music. In case you don’t know what a sample is, describes it as:

a sound of short duration, as a musical tone or a drumbeat, digitally stored in a synthesizer for playback.

To put it simply: You take a piece of music from another artist, for example drums and use these drums in your own music to build a song with. When hip hop started in the seventies the DJ’s in the parks would use the break in a record (for example a drum solo) and loop it by playing that same bit using two turntables. During the eighties technology started to become available which would allow you to digitally store a piece of music which meant that a music producer would have another tool in his bag of tricks to create music and be more creative. For hip hop it meant the start of its golden years with albums like 3 Feet High & Rising by De La Soul or The Beastie Boys Paul’s Boutique, who were filled with samples. Some of the artists that were sampled weren’t really happy with their music being used. De La Soul was brought to court and lost a lot of money because they used music from The Turtles without their permission. It meant the rise of a whole industry out to make money on samples. Continue reading

Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme (2000)

If someone would hand you a piece of paper and would tell you that you’d have a minute to write down a poem, would you be able to write one that makes sense? What if you didn’t have the piece of paper and had to think of something on the spot. It would need to rhyme, have a rhythm and a flow, would you be able to do that? This is the world of the freestyle, in which rappers show how quickly they can think, say it and at the same time tell a story. It’s something which takes a lot of practice and when you are thinking of the next thing to say your mind is in a different place compared to what your mouth is doing (saying something you already thought up). This documentary focusses on the freestyle and does this the best way possible: By interviewing a lot of artists and show lots of freestyles. Continue reading

Just for Kicks (2005)

Over the years sneakers have become a normal part of the urban streetscape. Although they were initially meant to be used when playing sport they have become fashion items with which you try to say something about yourself. There is an almost infinite choice of models and color combinations and this has resulted in a group of fanatic collectors who have closets filled with sneakers. Just for kicks is a documentary that takes a closer look at the rise of the sneaker and the subculture of the sneakerheads. Continue reading