Sampling Quotes :

Amon Tobin : "I think sampling is really a continuation of the way music has always been made. The way traditional musicians make a melody of their own -- they listen to music all their life that influences that. And there's a certain amount of chords and notes that they have to play with. All you do as a musician is reinterpret various combinations within those parameters. Which makes it kind of the opposite of plagiarism. Because plagiarism is when you're trying to mimic and call it your own, and sampling is when you're trying to take the actual thing and turn it into something else. You're not calling it your own, you're saying it's a sample, and that's exactly what it is. It's made from other people's music, and this is what I've done with it." from's 12/02 interview

DJ Shadow : "I know what I think is fair in terms of sampling and clearance. I think it is fair to clear sizeable usages but you can't clear 8 samples in a song. That's just impossible, you can't give everyone 50%. If people were more reasonable I would clear everything but it's all about lawyers and what they think they can get. It's nothing to do with any kind of musicology." - from Spinemagazine "Product Placement" article

The Avalanches' Darren Feltmann : "It's about using the sample in a way that it doesn't directly rip off the sound of the original... It's a shame that has been done as often as it has. It means that the price of buying samples is enormous. We think just paying respects in the sleeve is probably enough but the courts disagree." 10/5/00 interview in the Advertiser

Pitchfork Media : "Is it wrong to steal a loaf of bread to feed your starving family? Maybe. Is it wrong to steal a slice from every bakery in the neighborhood to feed your starving family? Probably not. Theft always seems more excusable when the scope is large and the magnitude is small. I mean, what are you going to do with a slice of bread, anyhow? You're not even stealing it as much as you are... sampling it. But where is the line drawn? When have you taken a big enough chunk of that bread that you can't eat it for free without the cops banging on your door? Somewhere between sampling and stealing lies Plunderphonics." - from review of Plunderphonics

The 45 King : [In response to the question: What's your feeling on those who believe sampling is old, stealing and out dated?]
"Who cares what people think.  Some people have success sampling and some don't.  It's easier to sample that old sound than it is to reproduce.  I can't get a drummer to play them old beats.  They can play the patterns but you're not going to get that old sound because back then they recorded in rooms with wooden floors, big acoustic rooms, they had old ass big nuemann mics and other elements that made them drums tight.  If you really want that old sound you're gonna have to sample.  If you want to replay shit that's cool but if you use somebody shit and don't pay them then you're stealing.  Their old ass should be happy that you sampled their old shit." - 45 King Interview

Chuck D : "Putting a hundred small fragments into a song meant that you had a hundred different people to answer to. Whereas someone like EPMD might have taken an entire loop and stuck with it, which meant that they only had to pay one artist." - From this awesome and insightful interview with Chuck D & Hank Shocklee courtesy of Stay Free Magazine

The Alchemist : [In response to Kanye West, Just Blaze, and the resurgence of sampling soul] It's just something we don't really blow up too much cause I don't wanna sound like the obvious. But if you really wanna trace it back man, I got that shit from Muggs. Muggs was the original Stacks-sampling, he used to sample from those Memphis records, he was big on that Memphis soul, like down south soul, know what I mean, but it was more funky. They reach into other categories of soul..I mean Muggs did it, RZA did it, obviously Just and Kanye took it to a whole other level, you know, cause they were working with artists like Jay and stuff that was just heard by the masses, you feel me? That's why I feel like the Blueprint album [Jay-Z] was a good turning point, and after that, every label and every A&R will tell you that a million beat CDs from kids with all these vocal samples and shit, like it was just following a trend. But if you really do the math, you could listen to the H.N.I.C. album [Prodigy of Mobb Deep], when I did that shit on that song with Pee and his girl, it was called "Trials of Love," and that was a Lou Bond record that I used, and then at the end of the song, the whole song plays out, with the singing, and its like we been doing that. - From


© 2000-2006 Unauthorized reproduction permitted.

[ Contact editor] [ Disclaimer] [About the author]