Thursday, March 20, 2008

Gooch at XXL's Scratch Blog Weighs In On The "Posting Sample Sources Online" debate

I've posted about one of Gooch's blogs before and I'm always interested to see what he has to say on the topic of production. So of course he needed to respond the Madlib/TIHH sample issue. After giving readers a bit of context for the debate, he writes:

Myself, I’m kind of towing the line on how I feel about the situation, because I definitely see both sides of the coin.

Alright, both sides now!

a) The negative effects of sample sets for producers:

Guys like Madlib have made their career on hunting for and then flipping samples that most people would otherwise just skip right past. And while I do think listing the sources that he’s sampled is a means of honoring his work, it may in fact be detrimental to the guy’s career. Madlib’s whole aura is built off of this idea that he’s mining sample sources that others wouldn’t. By listing what he’s sampling, you’re sort of taking the mystique out of what it is he does, showing the cards in his hands, if you will. Also, it wouldn’t be unreasonable for some publishing company who owned the rights to the material that’s being sampled to find your list of samples online and actually come knocking for some royalties. It’s not like these albums make NO money. Everyone wants their cut. Plus that whole idea of showing the cards devalues what it is that producer does.

b) the argument for providing sample sources used by producers:

Of course sample-based producers have been sort of bitching and moaning about this sort of thing since the 90s, when sample compilations started turning up on vinyl everywhere, listing who sampled what and everything. I think at this point these guys just have to deal with the fact that the internet is this well of information, and if people can expose what someone else is doing- whether it’s in appreciation of their art or to tear them down- it’s going to happen regardless. So fighting it, or asking people to take down these lists is futile, at least in my opinion. When you’ve got sites like providing an encyclopedic-style database of samples, and they’ve been doing this since like forever, it seems kind of pointless. I think, if anything, these sites help more than hurt, just from a buzz factor alone. The reality is, someone is talking about you somewhere. They’re that interested in you and your work that they’d take time out of their life to not do some other shit (eating, sleeping, watching pr0n) but analyze and dissect what is you do as a creative entity. If that isn’t an ego stroke, I don’t know what is.

Read the whole post here and as always, let Ivan, myself and the rest of the HHIR team let us know what you think. And after this, hopefully we'll be done with posting about it (unless Jay Smooth makes a video about it...)

It's certainly an important issue but we don't want to hammer it into your skulls. We'll keep comments on the posts open so you can add your two cents.


  1. Nice little *nudge, nudge* to JS..... LOL!

  2. Haha, I dunno man. I think he's smarter than that.
    I've been enjoying his election coverage and I'd rather he do that instead.

  3. Forget about Obama versus Hillary, the BIG news is 'SampleGate'... Who will win? The crate-diggers? The beat-makers? The RIAA?

    But seriously, this debate is way better than talking about rap beef or other bullshit. It's all about the music, like it should be.

  4. I think of it like someone introducing a new fighting technique, and then getting pissed that someone else was teaching other people how to do it.

    Let's say the triangle choke was new. They guy that broke it to the mainstream would be killing with it. However, it's only natural that the people he fought would learn how to do it as well and how to counter it. As a result, everyone become a better fighter, and the guy that introduced it would be forced to come up with other innovation. The field as a whole benefits when new knowledge is spread.

  5. I think Madlib is a BABY! Pay the effin royalties and move on!

  6. I think its all crap. These sample sets have been published since lord knows when, its just now people have more access to them. Anyone remember the "dusty Fingers" collections, the Diggin in the crates collections, the numerous sample sets the bootleggers put out on vinyl, what about the Milk Crate Collections? All were sample sets all were on vinyl but all were hard to find. Mablib is a poor sport to say the least. Keep on doing what you do, don't let him bother you.

  7. Stones Throw is the culprit, Not Madlib.


    Stones Throw is the culprit, Not Madlib.

  8. And long before dusty fingers there was the Ultimate Breaks and Beats series, which introduced me to Curtis Mayfield, The Meters and many others back in the 80s.. not to mention Paul Winley's Super Disco Brakes and the legendary "octopus records" that predated UB&B.

    Sample sets are a long standing hip-hop tradition, and IMO have always been crucial to a comprehensive understanding of the music. But the difference is they used to have a more limited scope and reach.. in the internet age find-that-sample is sooo much easier to play.

    And that's a reality producers and DJs can't escape, they're never gonna be able to put that genie back in the bottle so they need to step their game up and adjust.

    The sample clearance issue is hard to call, but as far as preserving their mystique and so on, the onus is on them to readjust their game for this new playing field..

    i was considering a video but i thought it was a bit too esoteric for my crossover audience

  9. Honoured to have you contribute to the discussion, Jay.
    Thanks for chiming in.