Here, Damian Marley and Nas collaborate on sampling African music.
Sampling has several definitions, but the one used most commonly in music today is the practice of taking a section of previously recorded music, such as a piano run, guitar riff or a horn flourish, and inserting it into a new recording, often with some modification and in a loop. The use of samples in music can vary. Some samples are identical reproductions of a familiar section of a popular song set to a new style of music. Examples of this approach are MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This,” Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby,” and Kid Rock’s “American Badass,” which sample excerpts from Rick James’ “Superfreak,” Queen’s “Under Pressure,” and Metallica’s “Sad But True” respectively.
At the opposite end of the sampling spectrum are artists who approach the practice as a sort of musical collage, an established practice in the visual arts, where artists modify a sample, such as a change pitch or tempo, and combine it with a number of other samples to create a wholly unique sound or atmosphere. Sometimes people refer to this as “chopping samples”. DJ Premier, The Beastie Boys, Nine Inch Nails, and Beck often use samples in this way.
For the rest of this article check out iSupport Digital Magazine’s “To Sample or not to Sample”.