Do you like rap? Chances are that some of your favorite tracks contain barely-recognizable bits and pieces of other songs. For example, Kid Cudi sampled Lady Gaga’s voice in “Make Her Say.” And Dr. Dre has made a career out of flipping vintage soul and funk tracks from the ‘60s and ‘70s. This author particularly enjoys Kanye West’s sampled guitar riff in “No Church for the Wild.”
Hip-hop music culture thrives off of recycling, simultaneously paying homage to the old while creating something new in the process. “Crate digging” is a hobby of countless producers and hip-hop heads, who go to record stores and unearth long-forgotten artists on vinyl. They load up groovy tunes onto turntables and MPCs, slice them up, slow them down, or otherwise change them. In the process, these songs arguably become new pieces of music.
And whose music has been subject to the most repurposing and reuse? According to WhoSampled, it’s James Brown: