• How Copyright Affected the Musical Style and Critical Reception of Sample-Based Hip-Hop

    Author(s):
    Amanda Sewell (see profile)
    Date:
    2014
    Subject(s):
    Copyright, Hip-hop, Musicology
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    sampling, musical borrowing, Hip-hop studies
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6JG2P
    Abstract:
    In 1991, the first lawsuit regarding sample-based hip hop, Grand Upright Music Ltd. v. Warner Brothers Records, was decided in court, and this decision forever changed how artists and their record labels approached sample-based hip hop. Although several lawsuits had been filed before 1991, all of those were settled out of court. There was no established legal precedent until this particular case. After 1991, artists changed how they sampled, largely out of fear of copyright infringement lawsuits. Hip-hop artists adapted and modified their musical language to accommodate the reduced availability of samples. Considering the music of five hip-hop groups, all of whom released sample-based music before and after 1991, I have developed a typology to quantify how the sample-based music of the Beastie Boys, De La Soul, Public Enemy, Salt ’n’ Pepa, and A Tribe Called Quest changed after 1991. The typology, which is a classification system for every individual sample in a sample-based hip-hop track, is a concrete language for discussing the structural components in sample-based hip hop. Each group adapted their production styles in interesting and creative ways in order to accommodate fewer available samples.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    5 years ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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