Hip Hop Culture Essay

1215 words - 5 pages

Hip-hop culture began to develop in the south Bronx area of New York City during the 1970s. It had a significant influence in the music industry. Hip-hop music generally includes rapping, but other elements such as sampling and beatboxing also play important roles. Rapping, as a key part in the hip-hop music, takes different forms, which including signifying, dozen, toast and jazz poetry. Initially, hip-hop music was a voice of people living in low-income areas, reflecting social, economic and political phenomenon in their life [1]. As time moves on, hip-hop music reached its “golden age”, where it became a mainstream music, featuring diversity, quality, innovation and influence [2]. ...view middle of the document...

The song “My Name Is” is included in his second studio album “The Slim Shady LP”.
“My Name Is” uses a sample of Labi Siffre’s “ I Got The…” for the rhythm track. Beginning at 0:09 in “My Name is”, Eminem uses sample appeared at 2:31 in “I Got the…” as a major rhythm for the whole song. Sampling is one of the most common elements in the hip-hop music. Sampling is the act of using recordings of other music in making new music. In the hip-hop music history, sampling is always a controversial topic legally and musically since sampling relates to the issue of the copyright of the music. Does sampling violate the other musicians’ copyright? Does sampling threaten the innovation of the music? Those questions are the most sensitive debates about sampling. Sampling begins in mid-1970s, when DJs mixed between particular parts of records, especially the breakdowns, to inspire dancers in the party. The technique, such as spinning and scratching the record while it played, can be considered as an early form of sampling in hip-hop music. In the mid-1980s, the primary use of “sampling” as a basis of the beat is a main shift in production. “La Di Da Di” produced by Slick Rick and Doug E Fresh is probably the most sampled song in hip-hop. Sampling has three “layers”, which are the sound, the reference and the intertextuality. The artist may use sampling to refer the older piece’s context or refer to other people’s use of the same sample. There are some famous cases regarding sampling in the hip-hop history. For example, “Pretty Women” produced by 2 Live Crew was sued for using Roy Orbison’s song. As a result, 2 Live Crew won on the basis that they had used the song with parody intent. However, lots of lawsuits against sampling brought the sample-heavy sound of late 80s hip hop production to the end and evoke songs with original instrumental backing.
We cannot deny the contribution that sampling makes to the hip-hop music because it simplifies the way of producing hip-hop music and provokes musician to work around the same sample innovatively. In my opinion, sampling is an essential part of the hip-hop culture. Sampling does not equal to stealing since it involves creativity and hard work to make beats for the new music. And hip-hop stars today like Eminem and Jay Z still use sampling to produce masterpieces of hip-hop music. As long as artists follow the law of copyrights and use sampling in a righteous way, sampling can be a beneficial technique in producing new hip-hop music.
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