The Art of Sample-Based Hip-Hop
Publication Year: 2013
Based on ten years of research among hip-hop producers, Making Beats is the first work of scholarship to explore the goals, methods and values of this surprisingly insular community. Focusing on a variety of subjects--from hip-hop artists' pedagogical methods to the Afro-diasporic roots of the sampling process to the social significance of "digging" for rare records--Joseph G. Schloss examines the way hip-hop artists have managed to create a form of expression that reflects their creative aspirations, moral beliefs, political values and cultural realities.
Published by: Wesleyan University Press
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Title Page, Copyright Page
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First and foremost, I would like to thank the producers, deejays, MCs,and others who worked with me on this project. The term “consultant”is sometimes used as a semantic gambit to avoid the negative implica-tions of the word “informant,” but in this case those who worked withme were consultants in the fullest sense of the word. They not only in-...
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Joe: I wanted to get you to tell that story about when you were talking toMr. Supreme: Oh yeah, and we were arguing, ’cause she was saying Ididn’t make music. That it’s not art. . . . She really didn’t understandat all, and we argued for about two hours about it. Basically, at theend she said . . . if I took the sounds, it’s not mine—that I took it...
2 “It’s about Playing Records”: History
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In this chapter, I will discuss some of the developments that have led to current hip-hop sampling practice, beginning with a brief history ofhip-hop sampling itself. Having done this, I will discuss the process bywhich individuals become hip-hop producers. A major influence on bothof these processes has been the close historical and social relationship...
3 “It Just Doesn’t Sound Authentic”: Live Instrumentation versus Hip-Hop Purism
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Much has been written about the concept of authenticity within thehip-hop world. But due to both the prominence of the MC in hip-hopmusic and the dominance of lyric-oriented hip-hop scholarship, virtuallyall discussions of authenticity, explicit or implicit, concern the relation-ships between lyrics and reality and how the complexities of this rela-...
4 Materials and Inspiration: Digging in the Crates
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I’m not the hottest crate digger around. I can’t remember the names ofbreaks I used. I’m not like one of them break kids. But I have so manyrecords in my house I don’t even like to move, you know? (DJ KoolSampling—the digital recording and manipulation of sound that formsthe foundation of hip-hop production—requires source material. In order...
5 Sampling Ethics
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Joe: It’s one of those things, that there seem to be . . . I don’t know ifVitamin D: They’re rules! It’s all following rules. (Vitamin D 1998)One major influence on the artistic practice of hip-hop producers istheir general adherence to a defined set of professional ethics. In thischapter, I will explore the major themes of this ethical system, in order...
6 Elements of Style: Aesthetics of Hip-Hop Composition
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I think that hip-hop was really just like kind of a crystallization of other forces in African American culture generally. Things around oral-ity and pattern and rhythm and . . . all kinds of musical ideals that kind of made it likely. Technology. Changes in the availability of tech-It seems to me that I’ve often heard people—and usually white ...
7 The Outer Circle: From Samplers to Ears
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Although I have spent the majority of this book discussing the socialcircle of sample-based hip-hop producers as a discrete community, thepeople who make beats do not live a cloistered existence. In this chapterI will address the larger social world in which the hip-hop producer oper-ates: that of individuals who, for artistic, social, and economic reasons,...
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Hip-hop producers make no apologies for sampling. In fact, as I havetried to demonstrate, they consistently show great pride and commit-ment to their approach in myriad ways. This, I argue, is primarily due tothe complementary influences of social and aesthetic forces in the com-At the most basic level, I hope that this study has shown one way in...
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Interviews by Author
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Allen, Harry. 2003. Telephone interview by author. Tape recording. The Angel. 1998. Telephone interview by author. Tape recording. 9 October.Beni B. 2002. Telephone interview by author. Tape recording. 25 February.Dere, Karen. 1998. Interview by author. Tape recording. Seattle, Wash., DJ B-Mello. 1998. Interview by author. Tape recording. Seattle, Wash., ...
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Beatles. 1967. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Parlophone 46442.Brown, James. 1987. Funky drummer. In the Jungle Groove. Polydor RecordsConmen. 1998. Smooth Criminals on Beatbreaks, Vol. I [No label, no number]Elliot, Missy. 2002. Work it. Under Construction. Elektra 62813.Fugees. 1996. How many mics. The Score. Ru=house/Columbia CK67147....
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About the Author
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Joseph G. Schloss is a lecturer in music at Tufts University. He was therecipient of the Society for Ethnomusicology’s Charles Seeger Prize in 2000,and his writing has appeared in URB, The Seattle Weekly, The Flavor and the...
Page Count: 240
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: Music Culture