One of hip-hop’s great innovations was the idea that you can take already existing music, chop it up into pieces and reassemble it into something different. It’s like the music version of Marchel Duchamp’s Readymades, which back in the early 1900’s challenged people’s notion of what art can be.
A lot of the time the samples used by producers are unrecognizable, either because the songs are really obscure or because the sample is extremely short. It can be fun, however, when a hip hop track has a really famous, easily recognizable sample. Being re-imagined and reconfigured in the context of a new song can give the sampled instrumentation a different feel than it originally had.
Of course, producers have to be careful with how literal they get with their sampling or they’ll get into copywrite trouble (as famously happened with Vanilla Ice when he used the bassline from The Police song “Under Pressure”). To wrap up this week’s Hip Hop Playlist, here are some songs by e-dubble and PackFM with famous samples – see if you can recognize them!
If you missed our previous installments of the Hip Hop Playlist, check out these links to download all the tracks!