Sampling requires artistry and pays homage to artists

Avery Tracy, Opinion Editor

The act of sampling in music began around the 1970s to 1980s when many rappers started to freestyle over beats that incorporated funk and soul songs. According to MasterClass, sampling is the process of using a portion of an existing song in a brand new song. Some popular songs that you might not have known had samples include “Crazy in Love” by Beyonce, “Paper Planes” by M.I.A., “Mo Money Mo Problems” by The Notorious B.I.G and “Blood on the Leaves” by Kanye West. All of these songs took an existing portion of a song and created something new. Each artist used a melody or beat to fit their artistic ideas and created a new song entirely. 

The use of sampling allows for an artist to experiment with different types of music that have already been created and take it to a whole new level. I don’t think artists should receive backlash for sampling, if the new product is totally different and even draws traction to the original song, why should it be a bad thing? It still takes a lot of artistry to create a new song using a portion of an already existing one. It also pays a sort of tribute to the original artist and song if it were to be sampled. However, it gets tricky when an artist samples another artist’s song and does not give credit. A recent example includes Lil Nas X who faced a lawsuit for his song “Old Town Road,” which he didn’t give credit to the sample. Another famous example is “Under Pressure” by the group Queen, and “Ice Ice baby” by singer Vanilla Ice who did not give credit for Queen’s iconic baseline. Ice eventually ended up buying the rights to Queen’s song rather than facing a lawsuit which would have him pay yearly royalties for the song, according to Music Nerds. Not giving credit for a sample is wrong, but if there is an open line of communication between artists, I think it can be a really cool thing and provide the audience with a satisfying result.