Trance producer Adam K calls out “fraud” AraabMuzik for plagiarism (Fact Magazine)
Nobody that fell for/was repelled by AraabMuzik’s dizzying 2011 LP Electronic Dream was under any illusion that the record did much to hide its source material.
The Dipset affiliate’s breakthrough release bolted hard-edged hip-hop beats over iffy Eurotrance fare – the results were exhilarating, if too brazen for some. ‘Streetz Tonight’ was the record’s calling card, cribbing liberally from Adam K and Soha’s remix of Kaskade’s ‘4AM’. Although Electronic Dream is now well over a year old, Adam K has suddenly launched a cataract of invective in AraabMuzik’s direction, accusing the producer of straight-up theft.
Ben Dandridge-Lemco: How Loops Are Changing the Sound and Business of Rap Production (Pitchfork)
With rappers recording at a nonstop clip, and sampling more difficult than ever, hip-hop producers are increasingly outsourcing their melodies to a global network of loopmakers.
These loops are snippets of original music that Prasad composes at his computer, melodic ideas that might serve as the instrumental hook of a song—but without the rest of the song attached. They range in length and complexity: some incorporate one or two different sounds, while others are multi-layered miniature compositions. Every two weeks, he packages around 40 of his best loops to send to established producers he connected with on Instagram. If everything goes perfectly, a producer will use one of his loops in a beat—they might change the tempo, adjust the pitch, chop it up and rearrange it, or just drop it in as-is—and an artist will record a song over it.
In recent years, these melody loops, and the musicians who create them, have become a fundamental part of the way rap music is made. For up-and-comers like Prasad, supplying well-connected producers with packs of pre-made melodies has become the most effective method to get a foot in the industry’s door. And for producers working with prolific rappers, outsourcing the time-consuming work of writing a melody to a pool of dedicated loopmakers is the most efficient way to keep making hits.
The popularity of loops, on some level, is a reaction to the increasingly complex legal and financial barriers placed on sampling pre-existing recordings in new songs, a cornerstone of early hip-hop production. In the past three decades, from pivotal court cases around samples in De La Soul and Biz Markie records in the early ’90s to more recent copyright battles over “Uptown Funk” and “Lucid Dreams,” incorporating references to other songs in your music has become a risky and expensive proposition.
Within this collaborative spirit, there’s also an inherent power imbalance. When unknown loopmakers—often geographically removed from rap’s centers of industry in Atlanta, New York, and L.A.—send material to big-name producers with connections to artists and labels, the latter have far more leverage than the former for negotiation, a dynamic that can leave loopmakers vulnerable to exploitation.
Though loops have already become a music industry standard, there’s still a stigma attached to them, according to Jetsonmade. “People have a lack of respect for the loopmakers,” he says. “Some producers don’t want people to know they’re using loops.” For more traditional producers, there’s a prevailing sense that using loops is a sort of cheat code. The separation between clicking through a folder of loops and making a beat from scratch can seem like the difference between ordering from Seamless and cooking a meal. It also suggests a depressing reality for many of the most in-demand rap producers, who may simply lack the time or bandwidth to work from a blank slate on all of their beats.
WhoSampled for some reason decided to get rid of the list of samples used by The Field, so I'm taking matters into my own hands. The way I'm ordering this is by album and then by the song or songs sampled on the tracks in the album. Any additions or criticisms are welcome, so long as you can back it up with the times in the song where the samples are.
People like to talk about how Dilla had the best "ear" in hip hop, and they're totally right. Listen to full beat again and listen to just the bass part: it's a legitimate, brand-new bassline that wasn't in the original song. Listen to that transition between guit_lo and string_bass_1: there's a syncopated bass note right at the end of guit_lo and then bam, it segues right into that higher note (maybe a fifth interval? I suck at music theory). And you can't get that just by chopping things up randomly, even if you select good samples.
A seven part series history of appropriative collage in music, compositions made using recordings of older ones. It's a practice that in the '80s became known sampling — after the digital sampler — a breakthrough instrument which was designed to mimic traditional musical instruments by allowing the player to trigger recordings of them back on a keyboard. But it didn't take long for musicians to realize that the true strength of the sampler was the way in which it made it easy easy to collage and manipulate the best sounds from their favorite records into new pieces of music. This practice entered the popular mainstream by the 80s, long after observers had already identified collage as the defining new art form of the 20th century — and the roots of this music go back just as far. Over the course of this series, Leidecker looks at these roots, as appropriative collage developed across experimental and mainstream paths.
David Goldberg reviews ‘Creative License: The Law and Culture of Digital Sampling’ by Kembrew McLeod and Peter DiCola for the Honolulu Weekly, using pieces of interviews with local musicians — noise artist and netlabel head Dominic Amorin (Uvovu), hip-hop producer TKO, and myself (as Lapwing) — as a lens into the book.
paidContent: Why The Music Industry Isn’t Suing Mashup Star ‘Girl Talk’
"So why hasn’t Gillis been hauled in front of a judge by the music industry? Probably because he’s the most unappealing defendant imaginable. Gillis would be a ready-made hero for copyright reformers; if he were sued, he’d have some of the best copyright lawyers in the country knocking on his door asking to take his case for free."
Anticon beatmakers Jel and Odd Nosdam have forty dollars to spend on records at a thrift store and an afternoon to make a song from them. Links here to a short video of them finding the records, taking samples, and piecing them together. The track isn't half bad, even though this is slightly akward and gimmicky. In fact, yeah, just skip the video and download the exclusive so that you have it forever.