Sampling is the cornerstone of hip-hop music. Everything in this culture was built upon sampling. At its root, sampling involves taking a piece of music from any source and incorporating it into a new composition. This was originally done by the deejays who would take two turntables playing the same record to extend the break.

The break of the record was the spot where most of the instruments dropped out so we could hear the drum pattern all by itself. DJs would effectively loop that section of the record so that it would play over and over again. This way, it sounded like an uninterrupted drum pattern.

Way before samplers or computers allowed us to loop up sections of songs, we were doing so with record players or tape decks. The advantage to doing it with a tape deck was that you only needed to have one record, one turntable, and one blank tape.
Making a pause-tape was time consuming. You needed to find the section of the record you wanted to loop up, wait for it to play and hit record on the tape deck at the exact right time. You needed to count to make sure the drum pattern would play back with the right timing.

Nowadays, all you need is a computer or an external piece of hardware to create musical loops quickly and efficiently. A lot of people see the ease of creating a sampled beat and mistake it for laziness. They are failing to see the history behind rap music. It started with sampling.

Press play to be educated and entertained by this second season episode of Know Your History.

Sergio Mendes – Waters of March
Mullet & Steps – Can’t Have Me
Lucy’Lo aka Jay Jolliffe– Interview Clip
Turtles – You Showed Me
De La Soul – Transmitting Live From Mars
Gangstarr – Royalty Outro Message

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