Often "samples" consist of one part of a song, such as a rhythm break, which is then used to construct the beat for another song. For instance, hip hop music developed from DJs repeating the breaks from songs to enable continuous dancing. The Funky drummer break and the Amen break, both brief fragments taken from soul and funk music recordings of the 1960s, have been among the most common samples used in dance music and hip hop of recent decades, with some entire subgenres like breakbeat being based largely on complex permutations of a single one of these samples. Samples from rock recordings have also been the basis of new songs; for example, the drum introduction from Led Zeppelin's "When the Levee Breaks" was sampled by the Beastie Boys, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Mike Oldfield, Rob Dougan, Coldcut, Depeche Mode and Erasure, among others. Often, samples are not taken from other music, but from spoken words, including those in non-musical media such as movies, TV shows and advertising. Sampling does not necessarily mean using pre-existing recordings. A number of composers and musicians have constructed pieces or songs by sampling field recordings they made themselves, and others have sampled their own original recordings. The musicians in the trip hop band Portishead, for example, made some use of existing samples, but also scratched, manipulated and sampled musical parts they themselves had originally played in order to construct their songs.
The use of sampling is controversial legally and musically. Experimental musicians who pioneered the technique in the 1940s to the 1960s sometimes did not inform or receive permission from the subjects of their field recordings or from copyright owners before constructing a musical piece out of these samples. In the 1970s, when hip hop was confined to local dance parties, it was unnecessary to obtain copyright clearance in order to sample recorded music at these parties. As the genre became a recorded form centred around rapping in the 1980s and subsequently went mainstream, it became necessary to pay to obtain legal clearance for samples, which was difficult for all but the most successful DJs, producers and rappers. As a result, a number of recording artists ran into legal trouble for uncredited samples, while the restrictiveness of current US copyright laws and their global impact on creativity also came under increased scrutiny. The hip hop genre also shifted toward a wider aesthetic in which sampling was only one method of constructing beats, with many producers instead crafting wholly original recordings to serve as backing tracks. Aside from legal issues, sampling has been both championed and criticized. Hip hop DJs today take different approaches to sampling, with some critical of its obvious use. Some critics, particularly those with a rockist outlook, have expressed the belief all sampling is lacking in creativity, while others say sampling has been innovative and revolutionary. Those whose own work has been sampled have also voiced a wide variety of opinions about the practice, both for and against sampling.
Producer Hank Shocklee is one of the preeminent figures of the rap world. Producing successful albums for Public Enemy, LL Cool J, Bell Biv Devoe, and EPMD, as well as remixing albums for Peter Gabriel, Tricky, and Sinéad O'Connor, Shocklee pioneered a new brand of production in hip-hop music with his noisy, layered style based on equal parts rap, punk, and rock.
Starting his career as a DJ with the party crew Spectrum City, which included Chuck D among others, Shocklee helped run a nightclub as well as host mix shows at Aldelphi University's student-run radio station. When Chuck D was signed to the Def Jam label in 1986, Shocklee came aboard to help produce the debut album for Chuck's group, Public Enemy. The production, with its weird noises and unusual sonic textures, was noticeably different, and the group began to attract a following. By the time of Public Enemy's second release, Shocklee had become adept at multi-track recording as well as multi-layering, and the album, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, went gold. Branching out into management, Shocklee formed a partnership in 1989 with old friend Bill Stephney, calling their joint venture SOUL. The label's first act, a group of white rappers who called themselves Young Black Teenagers, was poorly received by the black community, sending initial warnings to Shocklee that his talents were better suited in the studio. Around the same time he began producing for other groups besides Public Enemy. As the Bomb Squad, Shocklee and his brother produced Ice Cube's groundbreaking Amerikkka's Most Wanted album as well as the soundtrack to the movie Juice.
After Stephney left the SOUL label he helped to create in 1992, Shocklee and his brother Keith established Shocklee Entertainment, combining the two organizations. Shocklee's innovative production work continues to influence hip-hop as well as rock.
Network Awesome - Mon, Jun 30 Public Enemy Day! See the band from the beginning to today!
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Public Enemy Day! See the band from the beginning to today!