For Immediate Release
March 04, 2010
Contact Information

Vanessa Loy
Sonshine Communications

(BPRW) A Sample of Old School

(BLACK PR WIRE) -- The definition of aging and when a person passes from “young adult” to “middle aged” to “senior citizen” keep changing. After all, “60 is the new 40.” But you don’t even have to be over 40 to notice how music is different from what you remember growing up. One major change is turning on the radio, hearing the opening riff to a familiar song, but a hearing a different voice and lyrics than what you expected.

What’s going on here? It’s called “sampling,” literally sampling a portion of one song into another. It may be jarring the first time you hear those old hits altered, especially when your children don’t know the original. Sampling has been around since the 1960s, but hit the mainstream around 1979. The Sugarhill Gang released the song "Rapper's Delight," which samples from “Good Times” by Chic. Since then, both the songs and the rap musical style have achieved worldwide fame, and recording artists continue to sample “Good Times.”

Sampling frequently involves using the instrumental portion of a song, though vocal samples may be used as well. Hip hop and R&B artists often sample from their musical predecessors. Famous examples include Janet Jackson’s hit “Rhythm Nation,” which samples Sly & the Family Stone's "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)." Another is MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This,” which samples Rick James’ “Super Freak.”

Artists are not limited to sampling within any one style, and crossover sampling between hip hop and rock is common. Hip hop artists Puff Daddy, Faith Evans and 112 recorded "I'll Be Missing You," which samples from Sting’s “Every Breath You Take.” Janet Jackson’s “Someone to Call My Lover” samples from America’s “Ventura Highway.” Destiny’s Child’s “Bootylicious” samples from Stevie Nicks’ "Edge of Seventeen."

Sampling is a permanent part of the musical landscape. It’s another way artists can bridge cultural gaps through music. It’s also a way to start conversations with the younger generation the next time you hear an old school sample on the radio.