FT.: So Don't Bite the Hand that Feeds You

hyperadmin | FT. | Saturday, October 9th, 2010


The only thing more interesting than rappers beefing is rappers telling momma jokes without any beats surrounded by a circle of frat bros. But right behind that comes static between producers. And we’ve had some classics over the years. Dr. Dre V Jermaine Dupri, Swizz Beats V good music, Timbaland V Scott Storch… okay so they were all awful (including the Swizz Beats one, where good music took a whoopin’ to the consternation of ears everywhere), but in 2000 and dime, beatmaker drama is back on the menu.

On Chris Brown’s crappy “Deuces” remix, Kanye was all like:

“Girl seducers, they come in Deuces/when I cut ’em off they always become a nuisance/niggas take my old flows and they take my old swag/he just took my old bitch and turn it to his new bitch/hehe, I’m stupid.”

Then Boi-1da was all like:


Then I was all like:


But it was only momentary. For I found something slightly disingenuous about Mr 1da’s comments. “Stealing.” It’s a horrible word. No-one likes to be called a thief, unless you’re robbing drug dealers to piss off The Stanfield Organization. What Boi-1da calls “stealing” though, is what most heads call “sampling,” or to put it more succinctly, “hip-hop.” You know, that thing that happened when someone decided to rap over the rhythm of a sampled break beat? Is sampling stealing? Maybe. Is it a little puzzling that a hip-hop producer would call it stealing? Possibly. Is it very worrying that one of the more promising beatmakers this country has to offer would refer to it in a derogatory manner? Most definitely. Let’s take a look at some of the artists/songs Kanye has sampled for his more memorable spins. Mandrill, King Crimson, Luther Vandross. Stealing? Not cutting and flipping an existing composition to create genre-defining music? Stealing? Really?

Boi-1da and white person. Let’s call him Jeremy

Ever since The Neptunes broke into hip-hop conversation with their synth-styled beats and silly trucker hats, a distinct schism has formed amongst production aficionados. Those who sample, and those who don’t. (there are those who do both, but they don’t fit into my argument right now, so we’ll call them Sampulattoes. K, fine, I’LL call them Sampulattoes.) For those who don’t sample, the floodgates opened. Soon Myspace and Soundclick were mobbed by would-be maestros from Kamloops to Kiev and their Fruitylooped inventions. 99% were of course terrible, but a new jack elitism was born. “I’m better than you, because I don’t have to sample.” “I’m better than you, because I can read music.” While feeling superior to other musicians has been firmly embedded in hip-hop history ever since Coke La Rock told Pete D.J. Jones his whole style was chump 30-some years ago, the reasoning is not. For despite those that love to play revisionist historian, hip-hop was born out of deprivation.

His zodiac sign is Capricorn

Can’t go to the clubs? Make your own party. Can’t find percussion records? Loop your own. Can’t afford a backing band or live musicians? Sample, sample, sample. And just like that, a new sound was born. And in the 25 years that preceded Pharrell, the other guy and their Cocker Spaniel, there’ve been generations of prodigious beatsmiths that came along and changed our perceptions of how hip-hop should sound through sampled music. DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Large Professor, Marley Marl….

“Ayo Chris, fall back, ack. Music evolves, isn’t hip-hop about being progressive and creating new sounds?”

…no doubt kid, but there’s a few things that need to be considered. Firstly, DJ Premier and Pete Rock are still making beats that are some of the best hip-hop soundscapes around. As are break fiends Alchemist, Just Blaze and Madlib. Not to mention the great music coming from relative sampling newbs like Cookin’ Soul and 9th Wonder. So let’s not declare the production style as comatose just yet. Secondly, it’s a matter of respect. You discredit the artists already named when you downtalk sampling. You’re insulting how hard the art of sampling actually is, in fact, you’re discrediting it as an art altogether. If this sounds like something you’d do and you can’t turn this into this, then I don’t need to be hearing your voice right about now. And thirdly, sampling does not need to be demonized for synth to be beautified. If it’s dope, put it out and it’ll stand on it’s own two. it does not need to be compared to the incomparable.

Still sealed Eddie Baccus live recording 12″ wtffffffffff???

If you’ve read this far you’ve probably realized a couple of things: this isn’t really about Boi-1da. I don’t know the cat like that, maybe what he said was off the cuff and he didn’t mean to indirectly insult sampling. In his defense, he followed up his tweet by confessing Kanye to be one of the best ever, although that only made his original jab that much more confusing. I mean if he really wanted to diss Kanye for “stealing swag,” couldn’t he have just ripped him for self-admittedly biting RZA, No ID and Pete Rock? Nor is it about the mongs on Myspace with the shitty beats. They’ll move onto whatever new fad they find in a few years and forget all about rap. It’s about a notion: a prevailing thought or ignorance that won’t seem to go away. It’s about not forgetting, nor subtracting from, a legacy. It’s about preventing me from not wanting to even give your music a chance because since you clearly don’t know, don’t show or just plain don’t respect where we came from, how can I believe you’ll take us forward? Did Bob Dylan diss folk when he switched to electric, despite the fact he was slaughtered for it? Did Daft Punk insult Kraftwerk? Did Oasis downplay The Beatles?

The answers are obvious, as is the inevitable and only conclusion to this debate. To put it simply: when you diss sampling, you diss hip-hop. Oh, and KRS-ONE.

“Here’s where my tears come from”

No Comments »


    Comment by hiphop — October 9, 2010 @ 4:39 am

  2. great read… all true… you have a new fan in me!!!!

    Comment by Smythe Dawonder — October 9, 2010 @ 8:40 am

  3. Thats Boi 1da and Coop…
    Coop has some dope beats and you should watch out for the kid, but as someone so up on the game and being from canada, I’m almost positive you knew that Cromie

    Comment by mr thoro — October 9, 2010 @ 1:10 pm

  4. Great post man…you never disappoint!

    Comment by K Daj — October 9, 2010 @ 8:59 pm

  5. […] the article here: FT.: So Don’t Bite the Hand that Feeds You Tags: classics-over, good-music, jermaine, jermaine-dupri, momma-jokes, more-interesting, […]

    Pingback by FT.: So Don’t Bite the Hand that Feeds You | Dogs Blog — October 10, 2010 @ 10:59 am

  6. Ya’ll are so dumb. Its obvious the shot Kanye West put out was directed to Drizzy. Did you listen to 808’s???? Do you hear the singing, which Kanye started??? Have you seen the pictures of Drizzy with Amber Rose (Kanyes old bitch)???? All this is was Boi1da not giving a shit about twitter and standing up for his boy, who obviously needs to wat what he says!

    Comment by Nystar — October 10, 2010 @ 12:39 pm

  7. A very dope read!

    Comment by C Banga! — October 10, 2010 @ 12:40 pm

  8. @Nystar , I think you’re getting a little confused. This post wasn’t about why Boi-1da attacked Kanye, it’s about how he attacked him and the bigger picture of sampling being discredited in 2010.

    Comment by Chris Cromie — October 11, 2010 @ 12:15 am

  9. Its true…. nobody really cares about twitter (that’s why it exists right?!?) but this was definitely big picture. I teeter on this sampling topic because I feel like when one listens to what actually makes it to radio these days we have lost all originality in 20-10. Then again … someone comes along with a creative mix/sample included in a dope track with killer lyrics that blows my mind (and ears drums)- you know where u totally catch it and say “damn thats some dope ish” . This is all relative to one’s opinion …. but this post was definitely food 4 thought. PSST! @Nystar when you read; opening your eyes= opening your mind … nobody reads with their eyes closed!

    Comment by Lyriq Writes — October 11, 2010 @ 11:23 pm

  10. GUMI – Mozaik Role ? ver. Ciel?English Dub?…

    Download MP3: not available yet Find all other MP3s @ mediafire.com ==================== I literally started writing this a couple …..

    Trackback by RINGY DINGY RING TONES...! — December 18, 2011 @ 11:34 am

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