The art of sampling is nearly as fundamental to hip-hop as MCing. Check out this documentary on the history of sampling and its impact.
In the early days of sampling, it was done liberally and, at its finest, was used to create completely new sonic landscapes. Public Enemy’s It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us back was groundbreaking in its sound and was one of the most sample-heavy albums of all time. But that was a different era. That album could not be made now without spending millions of dollars. As time passed, copyright holders began to take notice of all the sampling that was being done and severely clamped down. Today, people who sample without clearing the music could face enormous fines or even go to jail. How did things change so drastically? Check out the documentary, unfortunately named “Copyright Criminals,” to find out: