This Documentary On Sampling Highlights Some Rap Classics (Video)

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A documentary on the evolution of music production has been airing this fall. Soundbreaking on PBS examines what music producers do, how the craft and technology has advanced, and the impact some men and women have had on superstars in Pop, Rock & Roll, Soul, and Hip-Hop. Episode 6 of the PBS documentary (“The World Is Yours”) aired this past week. This hour focused on Rap music, beginning with 1979’s Sugarhill Gang and evolving to Kanye West’s emergence.

It features new commentary by Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA, Rick Rubin, Q-Tip, The Bomb Squad’s Chuck D and Hank Shocklee, Ad-Rock, The Dust Brothers’ Mike Simpson, and others. There are also file footage interviews with other major players of Hip-Hop.

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Strongly highlighted in this episode are Sugarhill’s “Rapper’s Delight,” Run-D.M.C. and Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way,” as well as Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique, Public Enemy’s It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, and Wu-Tang Clan’s Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). Sampling is a strong backbone of the feature, from Hip-Hop’s beginnings at block parties and Rap-Disco covers to lawsuits and precise sampling producers of the early 1990s.

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Episode 7 airs Monday (November 28) on PBS stations.