Being an advocate of free culture generally, I support what Larry Lessig has called the "slicing and dicing" of culture--pastiche, sampling, etc. That being said, sometimes I'm not too impressed with the product of such practices.

For example, I hate the song "Through the Wire" by Kanye West, which uses a sample from Chaka Khan's "Through the Fire." Perhaps it's because I enjoy Chaka Khan's music so much that I'd almost place her in the holy trinity of Joni Mitchell, Sade, and Diana Krall, but then it wouldn't be a trinity anymore. Or maybe it's because, in "Through the Wire," they speed up the song so that it sounds like the Chipmunks! What were they thinking? When I'm in the car, I mostly keep my radio on B-96, but when that song comes on, I'm all over the dial.

I also dislike Mase's "Welcome Back", which uses the theme song from Welcome Back, Kotter. The original song was lackluster, and so is this.

But, when I hear "Got It Twisted" by Mobb Deep, I turn the volume up as high as it will go and then car-dance. It uses a s-l-o-w-e-d d-o-w-n sample of Thomas Dolby's "She Blinded Me With Science," and it is sick. You can listen to part of the song on the article I linked.


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And the beat goes on...

In one of the more creative and organic uses of sampling I've heard recently, the group Young People use the beat to the Rolling Stones' "Honky Tonk Woman" to dramatic and un-"Honky Tonk Woman"-like effect on the song "Ne'er Do Well".

It was on the complimentary CD to last month's Believer (June, 2004 "Music Issue") , and I'm hooked!

the cure

i agree that a lot of the sampling i hear in songs just stinks..

i hate it when bands try to cover songs that need no improvement..for example, the 311 cover of the cure's love song makes me wanna hurl. who thinks they have the right to cover the cure. thats holy to ME...

oh yeah

that cure comment was grrlpink


I actually enjoy the Mase sample of the "Welcome Back Kotter" theme, but perhaps that's '70s nostalgia kicking in.

So I Hooks-A-Left On 21 and Lewis...

I've heard complaints about the 311 song...I'm with ya on that. It's not so much the practice of sampling that goes wrong in cases like's just that someone's put together two things that should really remain separate. You know, like eggs and ketchup...or drinking and driving - both highly punishable offenses.

On another note, high-fives for the clutch "Music" selection this week. Funked Out With a Gangsta Twist, homies. My roommate threw a bachelor party the other night and that was highly requested...along with 2 Pac. *wince*

Paolo (

Now I'm switching my mind back into freak mode

:) Glad you appreciated the song, Paolo. I was beginning to wonder if anyone even notices them.

So I was listening to the "Back in the Day Buffet," my favorite B-96 program, and they played another sample song I like, P.M. Dawn's "Set Adrift on Memory Bliss," which uses a sample from "True" by Spandau Ballet. I grooved.

Now that we're on the subject of covers, though, I want to add one that I find annoying: No Doubt's rather gratuitous cover of "It's My Life" by Talk Talk. The original is SO much better.

Maybe It's One of Those Deja Vu Things...

Watch the "Listening To..." section next time you visit Dawn is on there at least once a week. That same song, even.

I've actually downloaded the last three selections you've put up. I was actually a bit surprised you would put files up like that, but I guess they're not up long enough to catch anyone's attention. I'm certainly tempted to...


sped-up soul samples are kind

sped-up soul samples are kind of one of kanye's trademarks, as a producer, but i think they're also widely-enough or often-enough used to have become a generally acceptable stylistic option, as opposed to a gimmick. (not that you said they were gimmicky; just to indicate the degree to which they're seen as more than a way of chipmunking something.)

not to mention their appearance (not always from soul records) in lots of 90s dance music.

I'm with chuck on this one. I

I'm with chuck on this one. I really like Mase's song and the video. It really may be an age thing. Maybe it brings back memories of being a child of the 70's and being fascinated by Vinnie Barbarino and Horshack (sp?). Life was as easy and light hearted as the subtext of Mase's song.

*sigh* To be a kid again.

Big Yellow Taxi

Something else--I like Janet Jackson's "Got Till It's Gone," which uses a sample of Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi," but I hate the cover of "Big Yellow Taxi" by Counting Crows.


Its not fair to say that it isnt good music, i feel it is very creative the way a cut is sped-up, I dont think anyone would be mad if they thought of it first and made a few million dollars of it now would they? I didnt think so. Diffrent types of music have diffrent types of meanings to people. If it was really that bad i dont think Kanye would have won a Grammy. Chaka Khan herself actually told Kanye she loved the song. As was the case with Mase. So its not just someone try to make someone elses music sound like chipmunks it expression and it the repect for earlier generation's music. You have to be more opened minded especialy about music. It would be like me saying Country music suck because i listen to Hip Hop but thats not true just because Im not really into it doesnt mean its not good music. Im going to stop now because i could go on all day. So I diagree with Clancy's View on sped-up samples. Open your mind Dude

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