Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Sample Sets: Hurting Hip-Hop?

Some things I just don't get...

Our ol' pal Kevin Nottingham of This Is Hip Hop hit me up today regarding a message he received by none other than Madlib. The message was written in response to Kevin's recent release of his (totally awesome) 'Madvillain - Madvillainy' sample set. Simply put: Madlib wanted the set to be taken down from Kev's site, download link and all. Kevin politely obliged. [Read more about it here!]

Now here's the question and matter at hand (which Kevin asked his readers as well): Is the act of compiling samples used on albums harmful to Hip-Hop? Our (Kev and I) reasoning and motivation is, quite simply, that we're just trying to learn about the artform (of sampling in particular) and spread it forth for everyone who shares our interests in this great music, culture and lifestyle we call Hip-Hop. Personally, I get a rush seeking out samples from some of my favorite emcees. But Madlib's response to this was the following: "Pages like this on the internet are no help at all to people like Doom, Madlib, and those that work with them."

Let's reason this one out, shall we? So let's assume that sites that delineate or list samples used on albums is harmful to Hip-Hop. How is this any different from the liner notes of the actual albums themselves? Liner notes often come along with a full or at least partial list of all the songs that were sampled or interpolated for the corresponding Hip-Hop record. Surely this isn't harming Hip-Hop. Right? Onward, we've got sites such as The Breaks, Discogs and Wikipedia; all of which supply an enormous wealth of sample info (many of which are used as sources for our very own sample sets). So the new question arises: Are the aforementioned sites (The Breaks, Discogs, Wikipedia) also harmful to Hip-Hop? Quite frankly, I think it'd be pretty bizarre to make that argument.

Essentially, Kevin and I are simply collecting the information and music, and compiling them into one enveloped and enjoyable package for y'all to dig in to and have fun with. It's all for the love of Hip-Hop, as well as the various genres and styles which emcees and producers alike draw their inspirations from. Hip-Hop wouldn't be what it is without the James Browns, Gil Scott-Herons and Bob James' of the world (and that's just scratching the surface). The driving force for our sample sets is to further highlight their contributions to Hip-Hop, in nuanced, album-by-album format.

The argument that Kevin and I are somehow belittling the great talents of producers such as Madlib and countless others by "exposing" their sources to the world and therefore hurting their ability to continue to make great music is, quite frankly, preposterous. Everybody knows that Kanye West sampled Chaka Khan's 'Through the Fire' on 'Ye's similarly-titled 'Through the Wire'. Does that make him any less of a producer? Absolutely not! Is Puffy any less of a producer because he sampled recognizable hits from the '80's? No! Not at all! We appreciate what these guys have done for Hip-Hop. Highlighting their efforts and showcasing their inspirations comes from our admiration of their achievements. No more, no less.

A couple weeks back, I got the idea to compile all the songs that influenced Madlib's jazzy 'Shades of Blue'. I was surprised to find out that there was in fact a sample collection set released officially by Blue Note Records. 'Untinted: Sources for Madlib's Shades of Blue', as it's called, was just that: The sources for all the tracks that were sampled, interpolated and covered on Madlib's 2003 album. Cool, I thought: I don't have to go for this one... it's been done. So here's a new question: How is that set any different from the set that Kevin prepared? Sure, Kevin and I don't have the c0pyr1ght on this music, but neither does Madlib. I can assure you that Madlib does not own the rights to Ronnie Foster's 'Mystic Brew', Horace Silver's 'Peace' or any other track flipped on 'Shades of Blue'. But back to the original premise: Madlib said that what Kevin did was harmful to artists such as himself, and overall detrimental to Hip-Hop as a whole. So how is the Blue Note release any different, aside from the fact that it was released by a label? None whatsoever! I smell a bit of hypocrisy... Just sayin'...

Now here's another issue which I found to be quite interesting. I was on Wikipedia about a month ago, scanning around for sample sets I'd like to complete in the (near) future. As I often do when I'm flipping through the web, I saved the interesting sites in my Bookmarks folder. At the moment, I've got over 50 albums in my 'Sample Sets' folder of sample compilations I aspire to complete. One of these was Madvillainy (Kevin beat me to the punch). When I checked it out back in February, it contained the full sample listing, just as Kevin presented it in his great post. Since then, the sample information has been wiped clean... completely! Thankfully however, Wikipedia maintains a function which allows you to check past versions of articles. Below I've got a screenshot of the version of the Madvillainy article from two weeks back with the full sample information (on the left side) as well as a screenshot of the current article, devoid of the sample listing (on the right side). Click the pictures to enlarge them:

What can I say? I like investigating... I just find it odd that the samples were recently wiped out from Wikipedia as recently as Kevin was told to shut down his set. Of course, this leads to a greater issue at hand: the accessibility of information on the internet. More specifically, it touches on the issue of information control. Under a totalitarian, fascist and paranoid rule of law, I'd understand. But we're just looking for Hip-Hop samples man... C'mon now...

I'd like to conclude this op-ed piece by affirming my love for all the work that Madlib puts in. Few producers match his musical IQ, and I've gotten hooked into his beat tapes, soundtracks and Mind Fusion mixes. We love the music that he crafts and we ask that he continue on. But we should make one thing perfectly clear: sample clearance is important. If you're already an established figure in the music scene, it should be expected that all the samples on your albums should be cleared or otherwise not used. The original artists deserve their shine as well. If someone were to make a beat using a sample from another artist, wouldn't you expect that person to be honest enough to admit that he or she used someone else's original work as their source of inspiration? I certainly would! So with that said, I feel that the sets that Kevin and I come up with are healthy for Hip-Hop. They take us back to a time where the appreciation for funk, jazz, soul, rock, reggae, electronic, house, blues (and everything in between) records mattered to Hip-Hop.

I expect to hear some positive as well as negative responses to this post. Please: Feel free to be as brutally honest as you possibly can. I really wanna hear what you think about this issue. Let's try to keep this civil and Socratic though. Aight?

- Ivan

EDIT: READ MY FOLLOW-UP ARTICLE "'Can Ya Dig It'? ... No, Seriously: Can You?" HERE!


  1. yo you do great work and thank you, I love your site and the music I learn about, my opp, if he cant clear his samples, you aint doing nothing wrong, dig deeper

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Wow. Good post. I agree with your point of view, Ivan.

    I was thinking this was a rather mundane example of a proud artist complaining, but when I saw the Wikipedia removals, that just took it to another level.

    Attempting to control the dissemination of information like that is basically the opposite of rap.

    I understand that he is trying to protect himself from copyright lawsuits, but really, that is just a risk he has to take - everyone knows you can get sued for sampling something, it's just unlikely (not worth it for the plaintiff) unless you have a hit.

  4. Hey Ivan.
    i'm pretty sure that Madlib has no legal right to demand that what he sampled would be taken off(of course that Kevin was polite enough and so he should have been). I happen to think that it's not only fun and interesting to listen to the samples, it's also important to hip hop. if you don't know your past, your present is unclear and your future is nothing but vague. I learned a lot from listening to your sample posts and got to know some of the most amazing things i ever listend to. it only made me appreciate more the emcee's and the producers involved (to which you alwys give credit!)
    music should be spread around. i can't wait for your Jurassic 5 samples...i'll keep visiting for as long as you'll continue. I'd like to use this comment to thank you for this blog. i'm a regular visitor for some months now and i really think i learned many many things.
    Seffy Kotz, Tel-aviv Israel\Zion

  5. Couldn't have said it better myself. I applaud Kevin for being polite but you and Kevin (along with many of your readers) seem like people who actually support hip hop and these sample sets are in no way hurting anyone. I never really listened to Madlib, but since Kevin posted the set I decided to check out the original album and ended up enjoying it quite a bit. I'm however, one of those people who, despite the quality of the product will refuse to listen to something b/c of the artist's character and actions and Madlib has lost a possible fan. The wikipedia thing also irks me (if it was Madlib's doing), as holding back information from the public is pathetic.

    I hope you guys keep releasing these sample sets as they only teach us more about hip hop and the art of sampling. Just the fact that so many producers have participated in Kevin's contest shows that many people are indeed intrigued by these sets and want to better their own skills.

  6. Chivato: Don't get me wrong, Madlib's work is still worth listening to. If I were you, I'd take back the "lost a possible fan" comment just for the fact that I know that you'll still like his music regardless of this little incident.

    But all in all, thanks for the response and continued support! We do it for you guys!

  7. Ivan, I'm sure this incident won't deter you from doing what you do best.
    Peace and thanks,

  8. hahh...alright I take it back hahaha
    I was looking forward to listening to his India Beat Konducta series lol
    But I still feel his statement is completely false...keep doing your thing guys

  9. "How is this any different from the liner notes of the actual albums themselves?"
    Well, they only listed the samples they were required to by law - Madlib would probably like to keep all those secret as well if he could.
    But, yeah, he's just being a dork - I could see wanting to keep a hot sample you found a secret BEFORE you had a chance to use it on a released record... but afterwards, it's all there to be found by anyone with ears.

  10. Ivan, I commend you catz for being so diplomatic about this hypocrasy. I have the deepest respect for Madlib's music, I'm a big fan of his stuff! If he dind't get clearance, that's his own issue though.
    In fact I was about to ask you to post the tacklist for Mind Fusion 3(if you can), I searched and searched and failed dismally!!
    Keep up theose sample lists going.

  11. Ivan, I couldn't have said this better myself. Excellent post! The Wikipedia thing freaked me out a bit though, cuz that's exactly where I got my sources from and the full sample list was there less than a week ago. I ain't mad at Madlib; he's gotta do what he feels he needs to do, but the cat's already out of the bag... I'm sure these will pop up again somewhere else.

  12. you said it all, Ivan. sample sets are simply put, education. i've always been an advocate for sampling in this sense that it teaches us our history, much of which would have otherwise remained dormant. artists such as Madlib who feel that the use of sample sets (and other resources) somehow weaken them as artists is ridiculous. if you're going to say that, then you have to admit that sampling in itself weakens one's artistry. we know that not to be true. i don't know that Madlib has any real legal basis to even ask Kevin or anyone else to not create or post a sample set. this is all intriguing, for sure. i hope this isn't a tipping point. i appreciate specifically the work, love and time invested by Kevin Nottingham and you here at Hip-Hop is Read. i hope that you guys continue on in this labor of love.

  13. Well if you don't want to hear anymore classic underground albums come out in the future then keep doing what your doing. Realisticly there is no way they could have cleared all the samples on Madvillainy, and Lib is obviously trying to prevent any lawsuits now that would both effect him financially, and potential listeners aurally as the album would be withdrawn from stores.
    You state that you believe all samples should be cleared, but if that was the case 90% of the great underground albums wouldnt exist.
    Whilst your hobby of collecting all the samples from albums is a good idea for yourselves and obviously many listeners it isnt for the artists themselves (unless the samples have been cleared) therefore in a tumbling record industry surely it is better to support the artists in whatever way neccesary.


  14. I understand your stance, but the reason why Madlib is probably upset is because not all of his samples are cleared....and why? because he uses so many, because it's probably difficult to track down who actually owns the rights to some of the recordings, and because it would be too expensive. if he had to pay for every sample, i can almost guarantee we wouldn't have a Quasimoto album...so exposing them makes the subject to suits. plus, the samples in the liner notes are the ones the paid for, that's why they are listed...the ones that aren't, weren't paid for, and probably couldn't have been afforded

  15. Co-sign Anonymous! The reason that "exposing" the samples is dangerous is due to sample clearance issues. Its not about hiding secrets. Remember the whole Just Blaze/Supertramp fiasco where Fabolous' song "Breathe" got leaked before they could clear the sample? Supertramp charged $100,000 for the use of the sample. Although I doubt any of the artists sampled on Madvillainy will charge Madlib 100 grand, I am sure it will cut into the little bit of profit he made from the album. Last I checked Madvillainy did not sell 500k.

    However... since making beats is a hobby of mine, I really enjoy discovering original samples. So keep up the good work and unless an artists disagrees with the "sample sets"... keep em coming!

    Thanks for the classics Madlib, keep those coming too!

  16. madlib is just acting like a lil hoe the WHOLE stones throw crew is like that...like pete rock says it not if somehas used the sample before its how you flip it

  17. yeah i'm not feeling that play from Madlib at all. it's no different than DJs putting tape over their vinyl labels, trying to hide their gems and cuts. Kind of shity, especially when so many DJs are of the mind that "today's audience needs to be more educated about Hip-Hop's roots"... well, if sampling isn't the backbone of hip-hop production, i've wasted many of my years listening to minnie ripperton, james brown, the winstons and countless other artists who i discovered through hip-hop.

    the only thing i disagree with is your comment on the Shades Of Blue sources being issued; that's just a manner of loochie. Madlib did Shades of Blue for Blue Note, and they've done compilations in the past with the tracks that have been sampled before, mainly for profit. it was a good tie in to his lackluster release, but i found gems on that release as well. I don't think he had any say in that one, once his blue note check cleared lol.

    In any case, I feel a lil love for Madlib being tainted with this one.

  18. if i were in madlib's shoes i would simply step my game up instead of complaining.

  19. First of all: Ivan, keep on with the incredible work you're doing!

    I think Madlib is a great producer and musician, but his complaints seem petty and somewhat tight-assed.

    Secrecy is not the key to making good music. creativity IS.

    Great post, great blog.


  20. Ive met Madlib once and I thought he was a jerk. He has an attitude of entitlement. WHY? I believe he thinks he is greater than he really is.

    This article confirms my feelings and perception of him even more. I agree with most who believe he fears issues with sample clearances.


  21. I love seeing the sample sets you put up Ivan, it's why I approached you about writing for the site in the first place.
    It's exciting to know where things come from, where they originate.
    That vocal trill on the hook of a Kanye song, the horns on a classic Pete Rock production...knowing where they came from makes me appreciate the producer more.
    And having the connection drawn from the beat to the sample source makes me appreciate the work of the artist being sampled as well.
    I LOVE Madlib, but we should realize someone like him, who doesn't have the budget of a Just Blaze or Kanye, can't afford to clear most of the samples he uses.
    After Biz Markie's lawsuits, the rules have changed.
    Go read G from GRANDGOOD's post for further meditation on that.
    I'm glad our site can generate such discussion, we do like to hear your (well-thought out) opinions.

  22. Yo, Ivan and Kevin, y'all can't fore-get about John Q your man. This really affects my sample set doing activities too. I see why Madlib is Mad (see what I did there with the pun and...), but I don't think you can say for someone to just get rid of a sample set because you want to keep the samples you used a "secret". Through this, you stifle the growth and expansion of the knowledge on being a great hip hop head (producers, MC's, DJ's, and B-Boys included). I respect Madlib's Point of view, but I will have to continue in my sample set making ways because we (Kev, Ivan, I) want to continue to showcases our love for the albums that make us proud to rep hip-hop to the fullest. Through these sets, we want other's to learn how to become a great beat-digger and try to use the sample sets as a tool to help others further their knowledge of, either/or, their own music interest or knowledge on their favorite albums. Cause we all know that knowledge is the way to nurture the growth of all people must incur in their lifetime.

    So, peace to the nation, the people that represent, and those cats that never bug out to the extreme

    Yo, If word is bond
    then Q is gone

  23. it's funny how all of the "true heads" will complain about how hip hop turned from samples to keyboards and the same cats will then rip into a guy who is trying to continue sampling and not get sued out the ass.

  24. First off...the only people that can ask you to remove the music are the original artists or their labels (the copyright owners). These DJs work with licensed samples, hopefully, most of the time. Madlib, as much as I enjoy his music, has no right to ask you to remove the music, because he is not the copyright owner of the original track. If he wanted to remove the music, because people were copying the music illegally, thereby precluding the original artists' ability to profit off their classics, then I would understand; but, I see his explanation as completely self-serving.

    Concerning the music, I really enjoy listening to the older music. In fact, listening to "The Letter" by Al Green is almost preferable to "Long Kiss Goodnight." I undoubtedly listen to "Come Live with Me more frequently than "Wanna Get to Know You." I also wasn't alive during this period, so the music, which the DJs use, doesn't necessarily jump out at me. Why should I be forced to forego the entitlement to listen to great music?

    I am forgoing this entitlement, because my career path is not DJ. I don't have time to track down all the different samples used by the DJs. This is why your site so creative and helpful.

    The DJs are "magicians," to an extent, but sometimes pulling the curtain back is better for the audience as a whole. I use "to an extent," because there is no deception involved in their practice, unlike magicians. With consideration to that argument, the analogy is not apt.

    To close with a reiteration a point already presented, if Madlib wanted you to remove the music out of a moral opposition to stealing music from the original creators, then I would support his argument. It makes sense – essentially, don’t steal from the originators who created this music. However, to say that “pages like this on the internet are no help at all to people like Doom, Madlib, and those that work with them,” is complete self-serving bs, which deserves limited consideration.

  25. I enjoy and appreciate the sample sets. It helps the next generation of fans and allows future producers alike to find inspiration and creativity. To not post that stuff or do a Madlib move is selfish...thats just how I feel about it.

    Keep doing your thing Ivan.

  26. I think that the whole issue is not about whether Madlib has the right to ask for removal, it's a tactical issue. Considering the fact that Madlib at least has a budget to sample, he's sort of elite. On the other hand, he's an artist who will definitely suffer if his future releases have to bear the weight of massive sample clearance costs. With a lot of other producers up in the clean, sample free beat zone, Madlib is kinda out there on his own, he doesn't really put his samples through filters and make them unrecognizible, it's pretty easy to recognize if you run accross the original. It's tough, but i don't think there is an easy solution to be found that "serves hip hop best" - after all what is hip hop in a situation like this?

  27. Damn Elucid, we're fans of you over here, man!
    But if that's how you feel, you're entitled to your opinion, certainly.
    Snitching seems to be word most invoked in terms of people revealing samples.

  28. Guy...stop snitching for real...the man makes mad beats and he doesnt want the sources exposed...is that soo bad...yall are suckers for that....back in the day dudes never listed the samples cuz they werent cleared...underground artists still dont clear samples....so be easy and stop baiting up the producer guy....sheeeeeiitttttt

  29. Ivan, you're doing a hell of a good job with this samples thing. Unfortunately, with great success comes...you know shit like this.

    Lib shouldn't be so paranoid, because he's really in a world of his own as a producer. So what if I know what/who he sampled? It doesn't detract from his production prowess, if you ask me.

  30. eff madlib...he should be happy ppl take the time out of there day to cover his ass.
    I wnt be doing that shit on my blog anymore

  31. I think the problem lies with the legal consequences that could be drawn towards Madlib and many other producers who do not declare samples in their liner notes because the samples themselves were not cleared so I can understand where Madlib comes from, though what could've been easily done was to give a reason as to why he was asking that sample sets not be put out.

    However, for the most part most of the sample sets Ivan puts out are already cleared samples so its not necessarily illegal to put it out.

  32. Maybe he didn't get some of them cleared......maybe...

  33. The thing about Madlib's samples is they are only obscure to people who's musical interest doesn't extend beyond hip-hop...his bit has sort of been grabbing stuff outside of soul/jazz and sampling it...anyone with a musical knowledge will recognize weird samples like Steve Reich...

    My assumption is either ego (honestly, all Madlib's got going for him are "weird" samples, he's gotta protect them) or a fear of the information being so out in the open that it would indeed, lead to people suing him for unlicensed samples; hence, the Wiki changes retain the probably-had-to-be-clear 'Accordion' sample

  34. The only people who get Madd are insecure. Wikipedia & sites like Hip Hop is Read have done more good for under the radar producers like Maddlib than bad. Only get Madd when nobody knows you & doesn't care to. Shut up & make sum heat. Kanye, Just Blaze, 9th Wonder & Pete Rock aren't complaining. I've got a sugestion for Maddlib, why don't you reach out to the Madd Rapper & make "Tell Em Why You Madd 08'". I know D-Dot personally & can broker the deal for u Hater. Keep doin' ya'll thing HipHopisRead!!!!

  35. i understand what you are saying but you are missing the true reason why madlib doesnt want you posting up all the samples hes used. it has nothing to do with the integrity or the artist or hip hop music. its really not that complicated.


    thats why he wants the list down, thats why they edited the wikipedia page. its not about hypocrisy, its not about the idea of compiling sample sets. madlib is a sample based producer and if he were to have to account for all the samples he used he would have some serious money to dole out. thats why the artists that work with him would suffer, the label would suffer and his ability to make music in the way he wants to would end.

  36. Everyone is definitely entitled to an opinion but in this case a lot of you commenting are just wrong. THIS IS NOT ABOUT SECRECY! DJ Premier said this on the Moment of Truth album in 1998 and nobody said anything. People like Premo and Madlib use crazy obscure samples that are either hard to clear or chopped beyond recognition...that is til some cat exposes them. There is NOTHING wrong with collecting samples, putting them on the ipod or whatever. But we must be careful how we distribute. I've been making music for over 10 years and its frustrating when you get caught up in some bullshit. I applaud you guys for granting his request. Anyone calling Lib a bitch or a ho just can't relate. This is his life...how he pays the bills. Peace to all and spread the knowledge...

    KEEP (real) HIP HOP ALIVE!

  37. you guys are dope keep doing your thing

  38. i run "resurgence of the soul sample", and i think the service we are providing hip hop fans is top notch. I had a guy leave me a comment on one of my posts that basically said that my site was the only thing keeping his love for hip hop alive. . . how could you deny that?

    midvillain is clearly in the wrong. if there weren't people like us who essentially provide a bridge between the old and the new, people would just look at the liner notes in cd's and get the songs from limewire or something. . . you can't stop the quest for knowledge!

  39. Ivan u and Kevin both have incredible sites. First of all who the fuck is Madlib 2 demand that somebody else's music be taken down. He said its hurting hip-hop 2gather samples?!? It might be hurting him but its helping thousands of people like me. So yall keep doing what yall do.

  40. Well, well, well, well, Pete Rock, Premier and now Madlib. With no disrespect to any of the above but what they all fail to realize is that they all SAMPLED somebody else's music. In my opinion who is Madlib to tell someone to take off his original sample listing from a website. He's lucky that he as a fan base for what he's doing. I think real hip hop fans wanna know where these beats are coming from. In fact, the listings that you do provide makes me hunt for the original songs, generating loot for the used record shops all over again. I do production myself and I figure if you're that clever to find out what record I used, that to me means that I got you open on something I did and I don't mind sharing that with the world. Anytime we sample we're taking great risk of it being discovered and no matter what, someone is going to uncover what any quality producer has sampled. In my opinion discovering a sample is like the ultimate high and I thank you so so much for the information you provide.

  41. Let's just make everyone happy. Stop making "sample sets" and make "a playlist of songs I was inspired to like while listening to [insert album name here]." Kind of like those knock-off perfumes at the dollar store, "the new fragrance inspired by D&G" LOL

    Po' Safe Beatsss

  42. A question that just came to mind: when you make these sample sets, do you go out and buy all these albums? Or do you get them as mp3's online, downloading, trading, file sharing, etc? If it's the latter, than all this is available online already, you're just compiling it, right? Maybe you're out there really digging, if so, I wish I had that time and energy. It's hard enough for me to find the time to hit the dollar bin more than once a month. I don't know. Am I totally off point?


  43. this is my 1st comment on any post or site EVER,also my 1st time viewing your site(added to my favs),coming from a producer & true hip hop hed(since '84) working his way into the industry;this comment by david made me reply "I understand that he is trying to protect himself from copyright lawsuits".If you are soo much of a fan of his music why would you put this man at risk for a lawsuit.no disrepect just my 2 cents...Peace

  44. If madlib does not want to pay royalties (whatever the reason is), you could argue that he does not respect copyright laws that should protect the original artist(s), thus disrespects the original artist(s).. Strange behaviour for someone considered to be a digger..

    Don't start with terms like 'effort' etc. without realizing the fact that all music before 1990 had to get recorded with great effort etcetc. A lot of man/woman hours, studio equipment the works.. Here comes a guy with a sampler, smokes a spliff and chops up a brilliant track in 2 hours.. Cool, but in terms of effort etc, props should STILL go to the original artist(s).. At least a little..

    Oh. ML if you read this, get smarter, make arrangments with the original artist(s) and put out a disc with the originals as well.. Cuts on both sides if you do it right..


  45. nah, because in most cases the royalties or clearing fees don't go to the original artists, because they signed their rights away before they made those records. The only effect will be that Madlib-type records become impossible to put out, it won't be beneficial to the original musicians, except in a few rare cases where they were able to keep the rights themselves.

  46. well, the corny way to do this is to only put together sample sets where the songs are listed in the liner notes. that way cats like madlib can't say anything. the info is right there. now, i came up from the beginning of hip hop, and around the time when cats went in as far as digging for those exclusive tracks,, and moved past looping and developed the wonderful art of chopping, a lot of the times, they COULDN'T get clearance because of hip hop's unpopularity, not being able to pay to get clearance, the original artist distaste of hip hop so they wouldn't clear it even if they were able to afford clearing the sample, etc. but at that time, and at that time, you were the shit if you knew where primo got that sample from, where pete snagged those horns, where 45 king took that piece of that song from, and so on. but a lot of the time, if the original artist found out, you'd get shut down to the point where they took your album off the shelf (ask biz markie). at that time, when primo was saying cats that put out compilations that had the original track were "violating", and i agreed with him 100%. not because of what madlib is speaking on, but it was like being part of an exclusive club or something. but now is a different time. now u pretty much HAVE to give credit to who the original artist was in your liner notes. that's no biggie to those who like that stuff because a lot of times you don't even know the song that it was sampled from. and say if i did? i'd be the worst producer/beatmaker in the world if i go and use that sample the way madlib did! that's worse than anything that would be considered wrong here. if anything, i'd like for madlib to elaborate on what his explanation was, because it's not like i couldn't find out where he got x sample from, especially with the internet being as strong as it is. if anything, when i listen to the original and then remember what (fill in the blank) did with the song. THAT'S what i get out of these sets. i have a lot of the songs already from my own digging, but the ones i don't, and get from here, it only further shows the genius behind their work. i understand to a degree where madlib is comingg from, but at the same time, if you're going to do what you do as far as sampling, you're going to have to play by the rules. you can't tell these guys not to say where you got the sample from. it's not your song to begin with. respect the original artist the way you want them to respect your wanting to... uh, whatever reason you wanted them to remove the sample set...

  47. Listen folks, As a producer myself i can understand exactly where madlib is coming from. I'm sure his reasons for his stance are not solely b/c he wants to keep the samples for himself. Just think for a second, Stones Throw records is an independent label and probably don't have the resources to clear all of those samples used, and when you go and throw these sample setlists online for anyone to see, that opens up all types of legal issues. Eff playing by the rules, thats not what hip hop is about. Don't you remember what DJ Premier said about cats putting those comps out listed who sampled what..."Ya'll are violatin!" Stop leeching and wanting everything put on a platter for you. If you want to know who sampled what, do what real cats do and dig. You guys must really want hip hop to die, cuz u stifling creativity just b/c u wanna know a sample, unaware there's a reason why a sample source isn't listed. Madlib is the illest, and if u want him to keep dropping that ill shit, then get off his dick, and don't make him file chapter 11. peace

  48. Well written. I agree wholeheartedly.

  49. Just think for a second, Stones Throw records is an independent label and probably don't have the resources to clear all of those samples THEY STEAL FROM OTHER ARTISTS, and when you go and throw these sample setlists online for anyone to see, that opens up all types of legal issues.


  50. Madlib is very good, but he is NOT the illest. Get off his sample dick, and make him learn to compose original compositions..dickrider.

  51. I understand what a lot of y'all are saying about Madlib not owning the rights to these samples but you simply have to understand what it's like for an underground producer. There is pretty much no limit to what someone can charge you for sampling there and track, on top of that, since record company rule #4080 stays in effect, the original artist may not even own the rights to the song! Back to my original point, though, if you're a fan, you have to realize that most of the classic Hiphop albums--sample heavy ones like Public Enemy in particular--would be so expensive nowadays to be cleared that they would have never come out. Is that the direction y'all want sample-based Hiphop to go in?

  52. Hip hop culture has always kept it's treats secret;especially when it comes to music. DJ's would use black tape to cover records that were being rocked to keep an edge over the comp. We all know that part of it but now were in the information age were nothing is sacred/secret.

    Sample sets are cool but cats gotta respect the game. Dont blow up somebody's spot because you found where sombody got there beats "researching" on the internet! I would respect these cats more if they actually spent time getting dusty. Not to say cats arent but the web makes it to easy to find shit when before you would dig for months for that one piece! I love finding peoples samples on records just as much as the next, but I would prefer folks just play the wax instead of naming the originals.

    We cant have it both ways because if every "fan" posts everybody's samples when the majority are uncleared and your favorite rapper/producer gets sued, guess what happens? NOBODY WILL EVER SAMPLE EVER AGAIN! After that this hip hop shit will sound wacker than ever.

  53. i dont blame madlib for asking for his stuff to be taken down, he dont wanna get sued

    i remember back in the day when the dj used to play classics they would have the label on the records blacked out so cats wouldnt bite there shit. nowadays everybody is biting each other with no respect for the old school laws.

    like man primo said years ago

    "you know how that go... stop doin that yall violating.... straight up and down."

  54. man this is an interesting subject.,i agree with both.,.views,.,from a producer/dj view.,.i feel like.,i gotta keep diggin'.,i heard records.,.that i may came across.,.a sample someone used.,.and i was like.,.damn,.,they sampled that shit,.,.i thought that shit was played,.,.to me if you use a record without permission.,its violating.,.,especially if its a beat being used by an artist,.,my sample mixtapes i do,.,is not.,to.,.say.,.i know where you got this from,.,and imma make sure the original artist knows about this,.so you can get sued (hell to the naw) imma a sample seeker,.,i love music.,.its my highest passion.,.and i love hip hop,.,and i appreciate.,.every contribution.,.towards it,.,like this website,.,and alot of other blogs,.,as well,.i can't knock madlib,.,.for what he wants,.,.hes a man (artist),.,.you gotta respect his craft,..,i can diss a man.,.if he does not want his business out there,.,.so much respect to madlib,.

  55. First of all, thanks for all that you do here at Hip-Hop Is Read. I have downloaded a couple sample sets from here that I never thought I would find anywhere on the web.

    Second, For those that are looking for an interesting sample set, check out the latest post on my blog Eclectic Grooves.


    Third, I agree that sampling is an art form and that hip-hop artists should be clearing all of the samples that they use. However, sampling masterpieces like Public Enemy's It Takes a Nation... and Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique would not have existed if this were the case. I've got to imagine that clearing a sample for a single song is not cheap. If you take into account that Paul's Boutique has over 100 samples on the entire record, that translates into a huge sum of money. I'm not sure about the total number of samples on It Takes a Nation.. but it isn't too far from 100.

    If the artist is high profile like Parliament Funkadelic , James Brown or Sly and the Family Stone, the price tag for clearing samples is most likely even higher. I believe that's why it makes sense for beat-diggers to search out some of the most obscure stuff out there to avoid sample clearances. In the case of Madlib, he uses some high-profile artists such as Frank Zappa and Stevie Wonder, but he mainly samples obscurities such as Dadelus, Lew Howard and the All-Stars. By sampling rare or obscure records that no one has heard of, producers can get away with not clearing the samples.

    Rappers and producers that don't clear their samples know that they are taking a risk, but they still do it. If they didn't take the risk, we wouldn't have the amazing records that have been created within the past two decades.

    Herein lies the dilemma: We want the records to be produced with dope samples, but the producers can't afford to make the records we want to hear unless they avoid clearing the samples.

    I don't fault Madlib or think that he's a bad person. In fact, we don't even know for sure who the person is behind the myspace message sent to Kevin. However, I feel that if it was a legitimate request, it would have come directly from the label. Anyway, that's my two cents, and maybe a little more.

    Cheers, Kevin

  56. I saw an article like this on another site similar to this and I didn't take the time to respond because I was so upset that I couldn't really gather my thoughts and at the same time I realized that it really wasn't worth the effort to gather my thoughts to make a thorough response within the context of a blog response.

    Paraphrasing something I heard Trane (John Coltrane), say in an interview in adifferent yet similar context "Some will get it and understand and others will go their whole lives without getting it." Doesn't make these people bad people or less than those that get it. We all can't get everything...

    So here are just some random thoughts that passed through my mind after reading this...

    PRIMO SAID IT ALL ON THE MOMENT OF TRUTH ALBUM. If that's not good enough for you guys and if Madlib's request is not good enough for you than dare I call ya'll arrogant.

    They are the creators and inovators, nuff said. End of discussion in my book. I mean that's how I was raised.

    This is a cultural thing and certain traditions are handed down in certain ways to maintain the integrity and vitality of the culture. If you think by sharing the samples that these producers "DUG OUT THE CREATES THEMSELVES" is keeping the art alive than again I call that arrogance of the highest calliber. Not only is it arrogant but; it is also a distortion of the scope, utility, and (not to mention), one's own position in respect to the culture.

    You wanna help the culture, go make some ill beats. Dilla, Madlib, Thes One, etc. don't sit arround making sample sets--they make dope ass beats.

    You wanna learn how to make beats, listen to beats and upon repeated listens you will start to "get" certain things. If you want more information go holla at these cats or cats in your local area who make beats.

    Or you can do it this way. But again as I said in a previous paragraph this culture you want so desperately want to be down with comes with it's own traditions (including ways of communicating as well as passing along information). This is not the way it's done fam straight up! It's just that simple. That's not to say you can't do it this way--if you want. That's your choice. But don't be expecting to get props and don't expect to get credit in certain circles.

    The new comers to the net will love you, the tools, the wannabee's etc. but you are not legitimizing yourself in the culture by those who matter.

    You are Souljah Boying it. You are using technology to usurp certain traditions, certain guidelines (consciously or unconsciously), and yea you can get some fame or notoriety out of it but at the end of the day if cats like Primo and Madlib ain't really feelin' or respectin' what your doing, you gotta start asking yourself what it is that I'm doing???

    You actually might be doing something that is not in fact what you think you are doing. Again, that's cool, but I ask you aganin to please start to consider the reality of your own subjective position in relation this thing called "Hip Hop" as those people (the creators and inovators), know it; not how you would like it to be or how you have found your new niche of what you think is WITHIN that culture.

    At the end of the day jus stop being a tool...

    Ivan I'm actually surprised at you. I thoroughly enjoy your blog but, I think your on the wrong side of this argument and the fact that you're trying to rationalize out what is simply wrong is really a shame. As if cats who don't even know who Madlib is have any clout or say in this discussion. To open it up in that manner to those who by their own admission( or displayed ignorance), don't know a gotdamn thing about Hip Hop Culture is just silly.

    Hip Hop is at paradigmatic crossroads and the proof is in this blogspost and subsequent comments. The culture (or as it appears on the web), is more often than not left in the hands of folks who hold the similar position (and relationship), that the jazz critic of a half century or so ago held to the musicians and music he was critiquing.

    That's not really where ya wanna be homie. That's not the position anyone would aspire to be in but rather the position they are delegated too because of power, ignorance, and sheer shortsightedness.

    I like the blog tho fam. I don't mean any disrespect to you and your's or to discourage you and your's from doing your thang but I gotta keep it real with ya...


    August Fanon


  57. Props on the lengthy comment August. I agree with you in many regards, although it's worth pointing out (again) that I'm not really exposing these producers. Most (if not all) of the information included in the sample sets can be found through... GOOGLE!

    But I do appreciate your comment, and I've taken new measures in ensuring that this no longer remains a "controversy". FAQ #1 is right here:


    In the coming weeks and months, I'll be answering more FAQs, and providing ways to keep these sample sets "on the low".

    Finally: Although I love Premo, his beats (etc.), just 'cause he says something, doesn't make it the Gospel.

  58. Not exposing no, well maybe you are because a lot of samples cannot be found through google. And the sample laws being what they are, if you can't readily identify what song is being used by listening, you can get away without clearing a sample. Well that is until someone outs you in this manner. So you are essential affecting another person's money.

    But above all, you are contributing to the destruction of one of the original artforms of hip hop and that is crate digging. That, much like freestyling is becoming a lost art. Some are too young to understand this, so they don't know any better. I was born before you could walk into the local record store and buy a rap album. They wouldn't have known what it was when you asked either. My first exposure to hip hop was a block party recording by my uncle when I was 3 or 4 years old and I've been hooked ever since.

    I understand there is good that can come from this site and I understand the positives, and in my opinion, they outweigh the negatives. Well for me. For the artist, maybe not though. Downloading albums on the internet outweigh the negatives for me too, but that doesn't mean it doesn't affect the artist negatively. Just understand that what you are doing can and does have the ability to negatively impact another person and stop the facade that you can't possibly be hurting anyone.
    But above all, you are contributing to the destruction of one of the original artforms of hip hop and that is crate digging. That, much like freestyling is becoming a lost art. Some are too young to understand this, so they don't know any better. I was born before you could walk into the local record store and buy a rap album. They wouldn't have known what it was when you asked either. My first exposure to hip hop was a block party recording by my uncle when I was 3 or 4 years old and I've been hooked ever since.

    I understand there is good that can come from this site and I understand the positives, and in my opinion, they outweigh the negatives. Well for me. For the artist, maybe not though. Downloading albums on the internet outweigh the negatives for me too, but that doesn't mean it doesn't affect the artist negatively. Just understand that what you are doing can and does have the ability to negatively impact another person and stop the facade that you can't possibly be hurting anyone.

  59. You enjoy it because you get a rush at people hitting up your blog and the ad revenue that it brings when more people hit your blog to download the sample sets.
    These sample sets, exposing EVERY SAMPLE in the songs are a violation, period.

  60. If only you knew how little I receive from ad revenue...

  61. Dj zappout sez: Look any sample will cost you 50% of publishing use 2 and you don't own your song. The reason why you will never see a record like "Pauls Boutique" or "It take a nation of Millions....." on a major label . Dj shadow clears 1 samplke per song and the rest he .... doesn't. Then again he doesn't sell. If you expose madlibs sources you will endanger his art . It was cool he asked nicely and cool the guy voluntarly complied.

  62. Yea, I think that "public's right to know" shit is a lameass argument. That's just people whining about not being able to complete their collections just so they can say "oh yea, I have this and that, blah blah I'm so cool".

    Really who gives a fuck about that kind of person?? I care more about an artist being able to continue making dope music WAY more than some lame dude's private record collection--which, in my opinion, is a complete waste if it isn't in the hands of a DOPE beatmaker/producer anyways.

    I love getting to listen to the original samples/breaks that birthed dope beats, but I don't want my favorite beatmakers getting into financially-crippling lawsuits. I remember an interview with Dilla where he says he started getting more into keyboards BECAUSE of sample clearance issues. For me personally, my most favorite Dilla beats were the ones where his sample usage was prevalent in the beat.

    Now why the hell would you want to put that same situation upon dope sample-based producers? There were enough of those clearance problems BEFORE the advent of sample-set blogs and whatnot already anyway.

    Here's a suggestion: why dont you sample set uploaders just post shit WITHOUT references to who used the sample?

    That way, muthafuckers who REALLY know what's up will be able to know who used what. Sure, that might cut down on the connections made by listeners of samples to look into hip hop songs they might not know about, but hey, thats what hip hop DJ's and promotions are for.

    About the "censorship" of references by sampling artists themselves seen by a few people as being "totalitarian", I fuckin laughed. Like I said: I give a shit more about the continuation of dope hip hop WAY more than some blog "celebrity"s record collection.

    Fuck your egos. Do some of YOUR OWN actual digging--whether it be through dusty crates or through production credits. Long live dope Hip Hop. PEACE

  63. Madlibs my favourite producer but a lot of his samples are simple unaltered old school loops.

    People are always intrigued to discover how a song or album was created to gauge the artist skill. Thats why other genres have guides to musical licks & tabs. A sample compilation is the hip hop equivalent of guitar tab.

    Madlibs a multinstrumentalist, He could have easily replayed many samples & his madvillain stuff would still sound crazy. Like his YNT albums were with higher quality control

    Portishead,Daptone,amy winehouse etc have already proven its not that to hard to remake that dusty lo fi retro sound.

    If you sample others to produce music for profit you must give credit .These anonymous people have indirectly contributed to your fame,sound, kudos & wealth & its arrogant & selfish to deny it.

  64. concerning the fact that Shades of blue's original sample set was release on Blue note:
    Madlib is a smart dude, he probably approaches the labels such as Bluenote, groovemerchant and other Cti and ask them to dedicate an album using samples from their back catalogue, so he don t have to worry with the sample clearance.It s good for him and good for the label as they can have 2 releases while taking advantage of Madlib's notoriety to market a new compilation..
    The difference with releasing the samples on internet is that the bloggers can not be sure if the samples are cleared!!!

  65. More specifically, it touches on the issue of information control. Under a totalitarian, fascist and paranoid rule of law, I'd understand. But we're just looking for Hip-Hop samples man... C'mon now...
    On the matter of information control, it tottally normal , in my opinion, for a samplist not to allow people to make the origins of his samples public.Back in the days of Djing, they use to cover the labels of their vynils;now that s what i call giving value to music!!!
    The real problem is the major corporations and greedy publishers who make it impossible for independant producer to pay the huge sample clearance fees..that what really sucks...

    also, i completely agree on the fact that original artists should get the credit they diserve and get paid...but the reality is that paying sample clearance fee does not pay the artists but the publishers and lawyers involved in the process...

    The loss of free information on the net is a bit scary theses days, in the Uk a lot of youtube stuff has been taken away..
    I feel that it s too late to do this kind of actions: it s like telling the people 'ok, so you all have free access to this wonderful library, go and educated yourselves and express yourselves !' and then burning half of the ressourc available...weird...
    i don t know where this is going ,but it sure is gonna change!!!

  66. Right, that s it i cant stop going on about it now...
    There are a few striking things with the way labels and publihsers are trying to control music :
    I mean what's the point of taking away music from youtube when it is possible to download the music for free anyway???
    It's not like someone is going to record the audio comming out of youtube to play on his ipod or to sample it!?i am refering to a new law in that started not long ago in the uK.
    Very frustrating flippin law..

    By the way , i think the idea mentionned above of not mentionning the credits of the sample set could be a good idea..or at least checking if the samples are cleared by loooking at the credits on the album...
    We gotta keep the sample based music alive!!!!

  67. Here are some bangin documentaries on the matter


  68. Lmao it probably wasn't even Madlib that sent the message, it was one of the goons at Stones Throw, quite possibly "RB" these guys are notorious for taking down any links associated with them, retail or FREE, yes FREE. Many of us fellow bloggers have had problems with them, just recently they took down a post of mine that exposed them for who they are, I simply told the truth about them and Peanut Butterwolf and the way they try to monopolize on things that legally aren't even theirs to begin with, such as them cashing in on Dilla's untimely death.
    They really are a shady bunch over there, this is the type of practice that is killing what Hip Hop is meant to be about, I want no part of any of that.

  69. i just read this and i don't think listing the samples in the album notes is wrong, because it gives you even more incentive to buy the album. i also see his points being that sample sets are just plainly given out to anyone in a wholesome manner all at once. it takes away from the journey through music you go to to come across some of these samples. it brings people who dig through records all day a lot closer to a common hip-hop patron with a moderate love for the music that is used to create hip-hop. just my two cents on a very old topic of discussion

  70. Hey dude this was a interesting article and i will keep it short and to the point, if it wasn't for the original artists music that influence hip hop as a whole (sampled) art form than take away sampling period. I love these sites where you can actually hear and download the original music from the original artist because it is not a sample in it's untampered form. I like hip hop i was born in 1972, but i love real music. So keep doing what you are doing and if whoever doesn't like it than fuck them all. PEACE!

  71. Madlib's a whiny lil bitch. Fame went to his head. Kev shouldn't have wimped-out.

    Never buying Madlib again (I'll buy OH NO just to spite him). For fuck's sake! He doesn't even OWN the samples.

  72. So Madlib does know how to send an email ???
    Ha ha ha X 2 I thought he didn't even own a computer! The mail you received is probably by some Stones Throw goon/employee paid by Peanut Butter Wolf to hunt and delete any youtube video featuring a song from one their albums. Yet they whine like bitches when somebody post the samples you can find in their albums. Hypocritical isn't it ?
    Fuck those guys

    - Magpen

  73. The comparison with the Blue Note Compilation Untinted (Sources For Madlib's Shades Of Blue) doesn't work btw. Blue Note asked Madlib to do that project and he used songs from their catalogue ! There's no issue there

  74. madlib is a dork for asking that shit to be taken down. Maybe if he stopped smoking all that weed he's be able to see how sample sets not only extend the audience for the music he himself is forever sampling but also brings his name to a wider audience. Loop digga indead.

  75. you stupid motherfucker. it's not that madlib cares that you know where he gets his stuff and that it will harm his music making it's that madlib doesn't wanna get his ass sued to the point where he doesn't even have the money or equipment to make dope music anymore. how are you helping hip hop if you're risking his career by posting these things? is it really cooler to know where madlib got his samples than to ever hear a madlib beat again. how do you not understand where he's coming from?

  76. ^^^
    this guy knows whats up

    I think some of you guys are missing it..
    maybe madlib was pussyfooting around the subject, but clearly he doesn't want to get sued!! im surprised so many of you didn't consider that!

  77. I guarantee you that Madlib asked to have the set taken down because he didn't want to get sued. The reason sampling is a dying art form is because all the people who are posting sample sources on the internet are inadvertently helping labels and publishers track down hip-hop producers. When you post a sample set, you are making it very easy for a label to figure out who they should sue next. Labels aren't making nearly as much money from album sales as they used to, so they are cannibalizing and going after musicians (people like Madlib) for profits.

    Bridgeport and Westbound music brought a lawsuit about a decade ago about samples for which they had not been paid. The judge determined that ANY sample, no matter how small or hidden, has to be cleared before it can be used legally. Furthermore, not only does the label have to give consent, but the publisher (usually the original artist) has to give consent. Now if you think any sample musician can track down every artist they have sampled and get their personal consent, much less afford to pay the thousands of dollars PER SAMPLE that it would cost, you are wrong. There are two realistic options for an underground producer 1.use the sample, un-cleared, and hope that no one puts a sample set or sample-related youtube or Wikipedia comment on the internet or 2. quit sampling and start using a synthesizer.

    Heads have always tried to figure out what people are sampling, but they shared that information with other hip hop heads; they didn't post it on the internet for the whole world to see. What I am saying is the internet is ruining sampling because of the people who bust out producers in a public forum that anyone can find by merely doing a google search. The other thing I'm saying is that you shouldn't be mad at producers for not getting sample clearance and giving credits. It would be far to expensive to clear all the samples on a sample-based underground hip hop album... and if they give credits without clearing the samples they will get caught and sued for copyright infringement.

    It's cool that you guys love the music and want to learn about it, but keep it off the internet, especially if you want people to keep making the music.

  78. SOUNDS LIKE SOMEBODYS MAD... lib lolllll

  79. Make the mixes, don't post the track titles online. Seems simple to me.

  80. At first I did not see the harm in listing the sample sets, but after reading what yall have written about the possibility of it bringing about a lawsuit, I see how it can stop the growth of hip hop in a way.
    If someone would have alerted James Brown, back when hiphop was first getting its start, that his music was being sampled and that he could get money from those using it, it might have put a quick end to Hip hop as we know it.

    Great post Ivan!

  81. after ready this... madlib is correct, but you arent harming hip hop... you're just making it easier for the artists to get sued over sample, everyone uses the internet now so its easier, no wonder madlib uses obscure samples so people dont recognize em easily. if we were to reveal that, he'd have to owe the company..

  82. Can anyome pleeeease let off some information on 1 particular song..OK here goes M.E.D.'s album push comes to shove, song "pressure". There's a sample used at the very start and the one at the very end...Not talking about the ELO sample peeps....Help!

  83. Yea its just his people not wanting to get sued because you're compiling a list of the artists he sampled from. Its like saying "He's breaking the law, heres the proof! Come to my site and find out!" In broader terms it is hurting Hip-Hop in the sense that people like him can't continue to sample and do what he's known for if he's going to court every other week for it, I for one can't stand these keyboard beats these days, they all sound the same and don't know sh*t about Hip-Hop, its pop music, and if its so original why can't I tell any of them apart? Like layering sound on top of sound with the same lame snare roll is difficult smh. If getting sued wasn't an issue I doubt he would care but yea, every time I put up a video on Youtube chopping up samples I get a "matched third party content" notice within a week and thats because I'll show the vinyl I sampled from so other beat-makers don't have to ask me, which is funny because they still ask, non-stop, "What sample is that?" They don't even subscribe either, now I don't even answer. People need to find their own samples instead of sample jacking, reverse engineering can be useful in learning techniques but once you learn then find your own samples! If all your beats are just samples from other producers then you're a phony, with the infinite amount of music in the world its hard to believe you can't find something on your own, stop being lazy and dig deeper, its ridiculous smh.

  84. as a producer who avidly samples and is always on the hunt for the samples that nobody else has used, i can understand why madlib would want the samples taken down. You dont want people knowing where you got your samples from you want to keep them hush hush so you and only you know where the sample came from and how you flipped it.

  85. I've been rapping/producing on an amateur level for almost 20 years, so I can not speak from a business level. But from either a business or artistic level, it could certainly be looked at as "ratting someone out" or "blowing up their spot". I'm sure Madlib is speaking from both.

    You sort of reinforce that when you take the "hall monitor" position and say that artist need to pay for samples because the original artists deserve theirs. First of all, I just disagree with any type of moral judgement or other authoritative statement, but beyond that you shouldn't assume that the money goes to the original artists. 95% of the time, it doesn't.

    The entire copyright issue in this country is a money grab by those who pimped artists of yesteryear and need a way to earn in today's environment, with labels crumbling and the power shifting toward the artist. People in the biz, like Madlib, see that the same untalented snakes who raped Motown, and who've been raping rappers since day one are the ones getting paid for every sample that they sweat to find all.....and what you're doing is helping the snakes.

    PLUS, there's a hint of "ruining" the whole magic act....but probably more of the first for Madlib. lol

    You seem to have that love of the music and a passionate drive. Have ever thought about producing yourself instead of pulling the curtain back on other dudes. If it is really the music you love (and not the power lol), I assure you it will be much more satisfying.