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Musical Space

Musical Space: Hip Hop


Sampling in Hip-Hop reached its height in the late 80s and early 90s. The legality of using samples from someone else’s song was vague; a lot of djs risked being sued, and ended up doing amazing things by putting together quotations of wildly different familiar music.

Four examples of samples that ended up being used by the band De La Soul:

  • A drum break from "Sing A Simple Song" by Sly & The Family Stone
  • Guitar and horns from Volt record’s The Mad Lads' "Make This Young Lady Mine"
  • Otis Redding's whistling at the end of "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay"
  • Guitar, keyboard and vocal samples from Steely Dan's "Peg"

De La Soul cleverly mixes all four into their song “Eye Know,” from 1989. I love how they are able to create a new context for each sample, and to show the listener the value of a new perspective.
This commentary originally aired January 22, 2013.