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