At this point, it is pretty safe to say we have gone far past the line of disconnect in regards to the new generation of hip-hop, its predecessors and the history of the culture.
With the age of information, social media and the ability to share one's thoughts to the world at any moment, people have gone past the point of ignorance and nearly to the point of insanity. Some of it I blame on, simply not knowing the history of hip-hop, much of it I blame on, the wanting of attention and the another portion I blame on, just wanting to start some sh*t.
With debate sports shows such as ESPN's First Take and FS1's Undisputed, controversial morning shows like the wildly popular nationally syndicated radio show The Breakfast Club, then having a president just leaving office who would say whatever and whenever he felt like doing so, having the unpopular "hot take" grabbing the attention of many, has ironically, become as popular as ever.
With that being said, it's pretty obvious a history lesson in "sampling" is much needed. As the new generation of "hip-hoppers" are ready to "cancel" Timberland, after they found out he and others had "taken" music from other artists. Hip-Hop is a soulful gumbo of every music and sound ever created.
Taking it back to the beginning, Hip-Hop started out as a DJ sport. On August 11, 1973 at 1520 Sedwick Avenue in the South Bronx, NY, a 16 year old kid named Kool Herc laid down the foundation of a "culture" that he had no idea he was helping to create. There was no name for it, other than a "back to school jam" in the projects. However, it wasn't just an ordinary party. Herc would play jams that many had never heard before. Keep in mind, this is 1973, so at most parties, you would hear Motown and that 70's soul/r&b. Herc would dig deep in the crates and play Calypso, Carribean, Afro-beat, and Funk. Music that moved, grooved and proved to be instrumental to the foundation of Hip-Hop.
The Birth of Hip-Hop
Keep in mind, these DJs were teen aged kids in the most impoverished parts of the Bronx. DJ crews would eventually begin to spread throughout all of the boroughs and beyond. The turntables were the DJ's instruments. DJ equipment was costly, especially for teens, so there were DJ crews (multiple DJs and M.C's), in which everyone chipped in to purchase equipment. Unlike being in band, the DJs didn't have to take expensive "formal" lessons to learn how to play. At that time in New York, particularly in the mid to late 70's, many classes that taught music and learning how to play instruments in school were being removed.
The DJ had to use 2 turntables to keep the music continuous and he would backspin the break in the beat with no vocals because records at the time has no instrumental versions.
Eventually, the break in the beat would be utilized for the B-Boys or "Break" dancers, as they would do battle to the beats on the dance floor.
As the M.C. became a part of the DJ crew to keep the crowd engaged and entertained, the DJ would backspin the bridge or break in the beat, where there were no vocals, enabling the M.C. to do shout outs, call & response and "rap" to the crowd. Then as DJ Crews increased, there would be DJ battles, as the M.Cs would throw battle rhymes at one another.
Early hip-hop was "live" at the parties. If you were blessed enough to get a "party tape" from the T-Connection, The Roxy, The Disco Fever or one of the hip-hop spots in New York, you were the sh*t!!!
In September of 1979, Sylvia Robinson's Sugar Hill Records changed the game, as recorded rap entered into the music industry. There would be other independent rap labels such Enjoy, amongst others and other rap songs such as "King Tim lll" released by Bill Curtis' The Fatback Band (the first released rap record March of 1979). Then Mercury Records, although not a "rap" label, it was the first MAJOR label to release a rap song, Kurtis Blow's "Christmas Rap" in December of 1979.
Short History of Sugar Hill Records
Much of the early music had live bands who would replay popular disco and r&b songs live in the studio during song recordings. That would prove to become costly, having the live bands play. The revenue generated from the early songs didn't profit enough to make financial sense. The advent of the Roland 808 drum machine became less costly and it quickly became the "go-to" music provider for hip-hop groups around 1982-83.
As technology advance, so did the sound of hip-hop. Sampling enabled hip-hop to have a more diverse sound. Until then, the majority of the music had a sound that was very similar in accordance with its technology.
Even before Hip-Hop, Stevie Wonder's 1979 album "Journey Through The Secret Life of Plants" may have been the first album to make extensive use of samples. The Japanese electronic band Yellow Magic Orchestra were pioneers in sampling, constructing music by cutting fragments of sounds and looping them; their album "Technodelic" (1981) is an early example of an album consisting mostly of samples. "My Life In The Bush of Ghosts" (1981) by David Byrne and Brian Eno is another important early work of sampling, incorporating samples of sources including Arabic singers, radio DJs and an exorcist (believe it or not LOL). Though Eno acknowledged earlier examples of sampling, he felt the album's innovation was to make samples "the lead vocal".Big Audio Dynamite pioneered sampling in rock and pop with their 1985 album "This Is Big Audio Dynamite". Guinness World Records cite DJ Shadow's 1996 album "Endtroducing" as the first created entirely from samples.
The History of Sampling
Before the rise of sampling, DJs had used turntables to loop breaks from records, which MCs would rap over. In 1986, the tracks "South Bronx", "Eric B Is President" and "It's A Demo" sampled the funk and soul tracks of James Brown, particularly a drum break from "Funky Drummer". Doing so, really popularized the technique. The advent of affordable samplers such as the Akai MPC (1988) made looping easier. With a ten-second sample length and a distinctive "gritty" sound, the E-mu SP-1200, released in 1987, was used extensively by East Coast producers during the Golden Age of Hip-Hop (the late 1980s through the mid 1990s).
Pete Rock Breaks Down Sampling
With that historical lesson given, all genres of music have sampled other music at some point. As a matter of fact, young folks, today's hip-hop and R&B still sample music.
ItzYourz411 Audio: "Cancel Timbaland? Some Folks Need A Hip-Hop 101 of Sampling"