4 posts categorized "Kanye West"

October 28, 2014

BeatTips Top 30 Beatmakers of All Time

A Top Beatmakers List with a Deeper Meaning and Purpose

By AMIR SAID (SA'ID)


NOTE: If you've already read the disclaimer about the nature of the BeatTips Top 30 Beatmakers of All Time, you can jump down to the rankings and click on the corresponding name for a helpful breakdown of each beatmaker.


Whenever lists of this sort appear, they’re generally presented with little or no serious discussion about the list beforehand. Perhaps that’s fine for pure entertainment purposes. But for readers to get the best learning experience from a review list of this kind, I believe there are a number of things that readers should know up front. Thus, I’d like to offer an important disclaimer about the nature of the BeatTips Top 30 Beatmakers of All Time list and the criteria used to determine which beatmakers were added to it.


The Nature of this List

The BeatTips Top 30 Beatmakers of All Time list is one of the first sub-projects of the BeatTips Art of Beatmaking Education Project (ABEP) that I recently started. The fundamental purpose of the BeatTips ABEP is to help preserve, promote, and expand the beatmaking tradition of hip hop/rap music through a series of specialized projects. In this way, the BeatTips Top 30 Beatmakers of All Time list is meant to serve as a discussion, MusicStudy, and general research portal.


Next, the BeatTips Top 30 Beatmakers of All-Time purposely omits the word “producer”, and here’s why. In the hip hop/rap music and beatmaking traditions, the term “producer” is often synonymously used to describe a beatmaker. But as I point out in my book The BeatTips Manual, this is not always appropriate particularly because the definition of “producer” can be murky: “Hip hop production is the creation of hip hop music. And although this description broadly covers every dimension of hip hop/rap music, the term hip hop production is used most commonly to refer to the making of the hip hop/rap instrumental — the beat. So technically speaking, a beatmaker, one who makes beats, is a hip hop producer; ergo, a beatmaker is a producer.” But “producer” is a loose term that can be used to describe anyone within the process of the final sound of a recording. Simply put, a beatmaker is someone who actually makes beats. A beatmaker can indeed be a producer; in fact, most double as both. (Further, being a beatmaker is not in anyway less noble than being a producer!) However, and this is a critical point, a producer need not be a beatmaker. Hip hop/rap music is littered with people who have “producer” credits, even though they never actually made (or assisted in the making of) any beats. Thus, The BeatTips Top 30 Beatmakers of All Time List only includes beatmakers. Of course, each beatmaker on this list has also rightfully earned the title of producer.


There are four other important things to know about the nature of The BeatTips Top 30 Beatmakers of All Time list. First, the purpose of this list is to educate. Hopefully, new beatmakers will be introduced more appropriately to some prominent beatmakers that they’ve only heard about in passing. And beatmaking veterans will be reminded of just how far the beatmaking tradition has come. In either case, I’d like this list to prompt some serious exploration and reflection from readers. Preserving and expanding hip hop/rap’s beatmaking tradition requires historical examination, present-day review, future speculation, and, at times, constructive (helpful) debate.


Second, this isn't a list to appease anyone that I know personally. I can count a number of beatmakers as friends; and I’ve interviewed many well-known and lesser-known (but quite acclaimed) beatmakers. That aside, I’ve made no effort to show favoritism in the making of this list. My objectivity — and naturally subjectivity — in the making of this list was based on the catalog of work of each beatmaker that I seriously considered.


Third, this is not a list intended to be safe, so as to not offend anyone. Top lists of any kind tend to offend one group or another, so I'm all right with that. And certainly, a top 100 list would have given me enough coverage to include everybody’s favorite. Even a top 50 would have allowed more room for adding all of what many would consider to be the obvious names. Still, a top 30 list presents a challenge, especially when you consider beatmaking’s classic past and its mixed present. I’m not interested in gathering up an easy list of names. Instead, I want readers to seriously think, perhaps even broaden their own thoughts about how, why, and where they rank their favorite beatmakers.


Fourth, The BeatTips Top 30 Beatmakers of All Time is not a "hottest in the game right now" list. I deeply respect longevity, particularly because it requires talent, drive, integrity, and hustle. I'm less interested on shining a light on just this moment in time. In fact, I believe all-time lists offer a better learning (and discovery) experience for readers. This is especially important for new beatmakers who are often less familiar with the names and critical works of earlier times.


The Criteria

When making the BeatTips Top 30 Beatmakers of All-Time list there were many different things that I considered, far too many to mention here. But there are eight main criteria that I used in making this list:


(1) Body of work. Without the work speaking for itself, there could be no serious consideration of any beatmaker who made this list. And while I did not deem it necessary that each beatmaker on the list had a massive catalog, the sheer number of beats (recognized and respected songs) of certain beatmakers could not be ignored. Therefore, a larger body of acclaimed work was appropriately given more preference. Also, special attention was paid to how many songs a beatmaker had within the cannon of hip hop/rap music, as well as whether or not a beatmaker contributed to the career of another pivotal hip hop/rap artist’s career. I should further add that the body of work that I've considered here is hip hop/rap only! Whether a beatmaker could or did produce music outside of the hip hop/rap genre had no bearing on where I ranked them with respect to hip hop/rap music. If I were ranking all-time horror film directors, it would be silly to include the comedic works of those directors as consideration in where they should be ranked. Likewise, neo-soul, drum-n-bass, dub step, etc. has no influence on a hip hop/rap ranking.


(2) Critical acclaim for a clearly distinguishable and/or signature sound. Preference was given (as I believe it should have been), to those beatmakers who either established their own well-recognized signature sound or contributed considerably to one or more of the eight distinct periods of beatmaking (In The BeatTips Manual, I examine and detail all eight periods).


(3) Minimum of at least three critically acclaimed (not just top sellers) songs, albums, collaborative works, etc. within the last 30 years. Part of being a standout in any art medium is recognition within the field. Sometimes this means big hits, other times it means well-respected songs that most skilled beatmakers know of or appreciate for what they are. And note: this particular criteria reflects the reality that some of the best in any given field are overlooked for various reasons. However, this does not diminish their work. Moreover, history is loaded with artists who didn’t get their proper appreciation until late in or well after their careers.


(4) The number of lyrically acclaimed rappers — in their prime — who rapped over their beats, and/or the subsequent “classic” songs created over the last 30 years. This is of particular importance for two reasons. First, it serves as proof as a particular beatmaker’s automatic place in the canon of hip hop/rap music. Second, it demonstrates the popularity and respect of a beatmaker among the best rhymers of their and other times.


(5) Real, not misperceived, impact and influence on other top beatmakers
of all time. Everybody has to be influenced by someone. But who influenced most of the beatmakers on the BeatTips Top 30 Beatmakers of All-Time list? Not surprisingly, many influenced each other.


(6) Real, not misperceived, overall impact (or likely impact) on the beatmaking tradition. In other words, what was their recognizable impact on the beatmaking tradition itself? For instance, what developments, styles, techniques, ideas, etc. did they contribute to the beatmaking tradition?


(7) Longevity. How long was a beatmaker able to maintain his career. For various reasons, some beatmaker’s careers were cut short, while others have continued to blossom since they first began. Thus, longevity wasn’t measured in a sheer number of years, but in terms of body of work within the frame of time a beatmaker made his name. Think of it this way: Jimi Hendrix’s entire body of work is just four years…


(8) Projected influence and impact on future beatmakers. Of course, this is speculation at best. No one can predict the future. Still, we can recognize the lasting contributions made to the beatmaking tradition by certain beatmakers.


One final note about this list: It’s not static. That is to say, the beatmaking tradition is constantly expanding, therefore, this list will necessarily need to be adjusted to account for new production output by beatmakers, as well as new research by myself. Thus, each new year, in September, a new BeatTips Top 30 Beatmakers of All-Time list will be generated.


(Homage to DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash, and Afrika Bambaataa — the grandfathers of modern beatmaking.)

#30 • Statik Selektah

#29 • Dame Grease

#28 • True Master

#27 • Bink

#26 • The Beatnuts

#25 • DJ Khalil

#24 • Havoc (of Mobb Deep)

#23 • Rick Rubin

#22 • 9th Wonder

#21 • Alchemist

#20 • Buckwild

#19 • Madlib

#18 • Nottz

#17 • Prince Paul

#16 • DJ Paul and Juicy J

#15 • Kev Brown

#14 • Showbiz

#13 • DJ Tomp

#12 • Just Blaze

#11 • The Neptunes

#10 • Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad (of A Tribe Called Quest)

#9 • J Dilla

#8 • The Bomb Squad (Hank Shocklee, Eric “Vietnam” Sadler, Keith Shocklee, Chuck D)

#7 • Kanye West

#6 • Dr. Dre

#5 • Large Professor

#4 • Pete Rock

#3 • RZA

#2 • Marley Marl

#1 • DJ Premier


---
The BeatTips Manual by Amir Said (Sa'id).
"The most trusted name in beatmaking."

September 24, 2014

BeatTips Top 30 Beatmakers of All Time: #7

A "Top" Beatmakers List with a Deeper Meaning and Purpose

By AMIR SAID (SA'ID)

NOTE: If you've already read the disclaimer about the nature of the BeatTips Top 30 Beatmakers of All Time, jump to the bottom for the link to the corresponding list number.

Whenever lists of this sort appear, they’re generally presented with little or no serious discussion about the list beforehand. Perhaps that’s fine for pure entertainment purposes. But for readers to get the best learning experience from a review list of this kind, I believe there are a number of things that readers should know up front. Thus, I’d like to offer an important disclaimer about the nature of the BeatTips Top 30 Beatmakers of All Time list and the criteria used to determine which beatmakers were added.

The Nature of this List

The BeatTips Top 30 Beatmakers of All Time list is one of the first sub-projects of the BeatTips Art of Beatmaking Education Project (ABEP) that I recently started. The fundamental purpose of the BeatTips ABEP is to help preserve, promote, and expand the beatmaking tradition of hip hop/rap music through a series of specialized projects. In this way, the BeatTips Top 30 Beatmakers of All Time list is meant to serve as a discussion, MusicStudy, and general research portal.

Next, the BeatTips Top 30 Beatmakers of All-Time purposely omits the word “producer”, and here’s why. In the hip hop/rap music and beatmaking traditions, the term “producer” is often synonymously used to describe a beatmaker. But as I point out in my book The BeatTips Manual, this is not always appropriate particularly because the definition of “producer” can be murky: “Hip hop production is the creation of hip hop music. And although this description broadly covers every dimension of hip hop/rap music, the term hip hop production is used most commonly to refer to the making of the hip hop/rap instrumental — the beat. So technically speaking, a beatmaker, one who makes beats, is a hip hop producer; ergo, a beatmaker is a producer.” But “producer” is a loose term that can be used to describe anyone within the process of the final sound of a recording. Simply put, a beatmaker is someone who actually makes beats. A beatmaker can indeed be a producer; in fact, most double as both. (Further, being a beatmaker is not in anyway less noble than being a producer!) However, and this is a critical point, a producer need not be a beatmaker. Hip hop/rap music is littered with people who have “producer” credits, even though they never actually made (or assisted in the making of) any beats. Thus, The BeatTips Top 30 Beatmakers of All Time List only includes beatmakers. Of course, each beatmaker on this list has also rightfully earned the title of producer.

There are four other important things to know about the nature of The BeatTips Top 30 Beatmakers of All Time list. First, the purpose of this list is to educate. Hopefully, new beatmakers will be introduced more appropriately to some prominent beatmakers that they’ve only heard about in passing. And beatmaking veterans will be reminded of just how far the beatmaking tradition has come. In either case, I’d like this list to prompt some serious exploration and reflection from readers. Preserving and expanding hip hop/rap’s beatmaking tradition requires historical examination, present-day review, future speculation, and, at times, constructive (helpful) debate.

Second, this isn't a list to appease anyone that I know personally. I can count a number of beatmakers as friends; and I’ve interviewed many well-known and lesser-known (but quite acclaimed) beatmakers. That aside, I’ve made no effort to show favoritism in the making of this list. My objectivity — and naturally subjectivity — in the making of this list was based on the catalog of work of each beatmaker that I seriously considered.

Third, this is not a list intended to be safe, so as to not offend anyone. Top lists of any kind tend to offend one group or another, so I'm all right with that. And certainly, a top 100 list would have given me enough coverage to include everybody’s favorite. Even a top 50 would have allowed more room for adding all of what many would consider to be the obvious names. Still, a top 30 list presents a challenge, especially when you consider beatmaking’s classic past and its mixed present. I’m not interested in gathering up an easy list of names. Instead, I want readers to seriously think, perhaps even broaden their own thoughts about how, why, and where they rank their favorite beatmakers.

Fourth, The BeatTips Top 30 Beatmakers of All Time is not a "hottest in the game right now" list. I deeply respect longevity, particularly because it requires talent, drive, integrity, and hustle. I'm less interested on shining a light on just this moment in time. In fact, I believe all-time lists offer a better learning (and discovery) experience for readers. This is especially important for new beatmakers who are often less familiar with the names and critical works of earlier times.

The Criteria

When making the BeatTips Top 30 Beatmakers of All-Time list there were many different things that I considered, far too many mention here. But there are 8 main criteria that I used in making this list:

(1) Body of work. Without the work speaking for itself, there could be no serious consideration of any beatmaker who made this list. And while I did not deem it necessary that each beatmaker on the list had a massive catalog, the sheer number of beats (recognized and respected songs) of certain beatmakers could not be ignored. Therefore, a larger body of acclaimed work was, appropriately, given more preference. Also, special attention was paid to how many songs a beatmaker had within the cannon of hip hop/rap music, as well as whether or not a beatmaker contributed to the career of another pivotal hip hop/rap artist’s career. I should further add that the body of work that I've considered here is hip hop/rap only! Whether a beatmaker could or did produce music outside of the hip hop/rap genre had no bearing on where I ranked them with respect to hip hop/rap music. If I were ranking all-time horror film directors, it would be silly to include the comedic works of those directors as consideration in where they should be ranked. Likewise, neo-soul, drum-n-bass, dub step, etc. has no influence on a hip hop/rap ranking.

(2) Critical acclaim for a clearly distinguishable and/or signature sound. Preference was given (as I believe it should have been), to those beatmakers who either established their own well-recognized signature sound or contributed considerably to one or more of the 8 distinct periods of beatmaking.

(3) Minimum of at least three critically acclaimed (not just top sellers) songs, albums, collaborative works, etc. within the last 30 years. Part of being a standout in any art medium is recognition within the field. Sometimes this means big hits, other times it means well-respected songs that most skilled beatmakers know of or appreciate for what they are. And note: this particular criteria reflects the reality that some of the best in any given field are overlooked for various reasons. However, this does not diminish their work. Moreover, history is loaded with artists who didn’t get their proper appreciation until late in or well after their careers.

(4) The number of lyrically acclaimed rappers — in their prime — who rapped over their beats, and/or the subsequent “classic” songs created over the last 30 years. This is of particular importance for two reasons. First, it serves as proof as a particular beatmaker’s automatic place in the canon of hip hop/rap music. Second, it demonstrates the popularity and respect of a beatmaker among the best rhymers of their and other times.

(5) Real, not misperceived, impact and influence on other top beatmakers
of all time. Everybody has to be influenced by someone. But who influenced most of the beatmakers on the BeatTips Top 30 Beatmakers of All-Time list? Not surprisingly, many influenced each other.

(6) Real, not misperceived, overall impact (or likely impact) on the beatmaking tradition. In other words, what was their recognizable impact on the beatmaking tradition itself? For instance, what developments, styles, techniques, ideas, etc. did they contribute to the beatmaking tradition?

(7) Longevity. How long was a beatmaker able to maintain his career. For various reasons, some beatmaker’s careers were cut short, while others have continued to blossom since they first began. Thus, longevity wasn’t measured in a sheer number of years, but in terms of body of work within the frame of time a beatmaker made his name. Think of it this way: Jimi Hendrix’s entire body of work is just four years…

(8) Projected influence and impact on future beatmakers. Of course, this is speculation at best. No one can predict the future. Still, we can recognize the lasting contributions made to the beatmaking tradition by certain beatmakers.


One final note about this list: It’s not static. That is to say, the beatmaking tradition is constantly expanding, therefore, this list will necessarily need to be adjusted to account for new production output by beatmakers, as well as new research by myself. Thus, each new year, in September, a new BeatTips Top 30 Beatmakers of All-Time list will be generated.

Click here to see the breakdown for #7 on the BeatTips Top 30 Beatmakers of All Time list. Note: Each day in September, one number from the top 30 will be revealed, continuing from #30 all the way to #1.

March 21, 2012

Reactions to the “Otis” Beat Demonstrate Hyper Scrutiny

The Night “Otis” Leaked, Twitter Hashtag Replies Revealed Something Alarming About the Nature of Today's Beat Critiques

By AMIR SAID (SA'ID)

As the Jay-Z/Kanye West song “Otis” leaked and bulldozed its way to trending topic status on Twitter last year, I was surprised (well, actually not really) by the level of vitriol and indirect shots that were brought against it by loads of beatmakers (producers) against the “Otis” beat (produced by Kanye West). In my quick, non-scientific poll and survey of a substantial number of “Otis” tweets that night, it was obvious that most people liked “Otis”; while some people thought that is was simply OK; and still, a small minority disliked it. But whatever the consensus was or wasn’t, one thing was clear from a beatmakers perspective: Many beatmakers were alarmingly critical of the beat that night.

Among beatmakers you will find some of the most opinionated music makers in the world. Beatmakers scrutinize the beats of fellow musicians differently than the average hip hop/rap fan and music listiner, because beatmakers are usually keenly aware of any number of methods and processes that can go into the creation of any beat. We know the styles, sounds, and techniques that are being referenced. And because hip hop/rap music, perhaps more then any other twentieth-century American popular music form, is infused with the ethos of competition, many beatmakers often listen to beats with a competitor’s ear. In many ways, this is why we rate, or dare I say judge, beats on a set of metrics that are different than most people. So I can understand why so many beatmakers took to Twitter that night and offered up their opinions on the way in which that sampling of an Otis Redding recording was rendered.

But a closer look at the pulse of the “Otis” hashtag replies from last year revealed something among sample-based beatmakers that I found to be alarming: hyper-scrutiny. Although all sample-based beatmakers interpret and perceive source material differently (and, subsequently, the samples that they cull from said source material), I don’t believe that any one interpretation can automatically be deemed superior to another. When there’s two flips of the same recording to compare, we can all toss our vote for which flip of a sample was dopest. For instance, Miles Davis’ “Bitches Brew” was sampled and flipped by a number of beatmakers, but which one was best? I suppose a healthy debate is suitable there.

But with regard to the “Otis” beat, the debate among beatmakers on Twitter that night centered around the way in which the “Otis” sample was used—many considered it to be a weak flip of a great Otis Redding song. Some maintained that it didn’t have enough chops. Some added that it didn’t use the best parts of the Otis Redding song. Some thought that it didn’t incorporate enough changes. And some believed that the drums weren’t as good as they could’ve been. Thus, those who lobbied such critiques found that they just couldn’t bring themselves to say that the beat was dope, for lack of how the sample was flipped. Yeah, O.K., riiigght… Thankfully, however, there were some who did reply that the "Otis" beat was dope. Simply stated.

What Makes a Dope Sample-Based Beat?

The dopeness of a sample-based beat isn’t based on the number of chops that it includes; or the number of different changes that it incorporates; or how many different drum sounds that it features. The dopeness of a sample-based beat (and a non-sample-based beat for that matter) is based on how it sounds—how the combination of samples, the drumwork, and any other elements soundtogether. A dope beat is a dope beat, no matter how simple or complex it appears to be! Of course, “dope” is subjective. But if the beat inspired decent enough rhymes from Jay-Z (one of the best lyricists to date) and Kanye West (a very capable rapper in his own right), can’t we all at least agree that the “Otis” beat was dope? And if we are to agree that dope beats make for dope songs (usually), then why was “Otis” not celebrated simply for that, instead of being knocked by many for what the beat could've of been?

Beatmakers, like other artists, have strong opinions. Some of these opinions are fair and articulate, some are unfair and bizarre, some are snobbish and narrow, and some are just down-right petty. Either way, I find it disheartening and non-constructive (to say the least) when many sample-based beatmakers discredit a beat as something on the lower end of the art of sampling simply because they believe that they could have flipped the sample better. This is especially troubling when the beat they’ve sought to discredit actually celebrates sampling in a good light, using a song by Otis Redding, a great soul man that unfortunately a large number of beatmakers aren’t necessarily familiar with today.

And of What About the Use of an Otis Redding Sample and it’s Inspiration?

Here, I also wanted to comment on what some non-beatmakers had to say about using an Otis Redding song and, specifically, the name “Otis” for the likes of what Jay-Z and Kanye West did with it. The use of the name “Otis” and/or a sample of his music as “not deserving”, as one tweet from that night put it, is an ill-informed statement. Let’s be clear: At the base of it, hip hop/rap music converts other forms of music (I discuss this in-depth in The BeatTips Manual. When it comes to sampling, nothing and no one is above being sampled, reconceptualized, and transformed! Sample-based beatmakers are only limited by their imaginations and their understanding of the art form. Whether the final result is dope or not is a separate matter subject to its own debate. But the self-righteous, soap-box statements thrown against “Otis” are far reaching and misguided.

Again: Like the beat, like the song, or dislike it. But do so on it’s merits and intended effect. The notion of calling out a misuse of a sample of Otis Redding (who admittedly I’ve long been a big fan of) as a slick, sacrilegious pop music move is just plain overkill. Relax. Because like the Jay-Z/Kanye West “Otis” song or not, Otis Redding gained millions of new listeners as a result of it. And that’s gotta be a good thing. Inspiration always is…

And think about this: J Dilla’s responsible for creating some of the most engaging music ever recorded. But the fact that he and his music was able to inspire countless beatmakers and introduce scores of people to the art of sampling will perhaps be his most important legacy to the art of beatmaking. I was immediately reminded of this that night I heard what was then the “Otis” leak off of the Jay-Z/Kanye West album WatchThe Throne.

Bottom Line

Scrutiny is good; competition is good. But I’m not sure if hyper-scrutiny advances the art of beatmaking. Be a fan, and a listener… Critique a beat/song fairly when necessary, but also support a beat/song when the art of sampling is being celebrated.

The music below is presented for the purpose of scholarship.

---
The BeatTips Manual by Sa'id.
"The most trusted source for information on beatmaking and hip hop/rap music education."

December 18, 2010

Pete Rock's Drums Makes Kanye's "Runaway" Soar

Beatmaking Pioneer Talks Upcoming Projects; Says Kanye Sampled his Drum Work for the Making of "Runaway."

By AMIR SAID (SA'ID)

Any nugget of a jewel that beatmaking pioneers offer up is a good thing. Unfortunately, the Hip Hop Chronicle Exclusive Pete Rock video interview (covered below) is short on jewels in the area of the “how to” variety. But that being said, this video is interesting still the same. For one thing, Pete Rock drops a couple of names that he will be featuring on his half of the announced (but date uncertain) Pete Rock vs. DJ Premier album. Also, PR concedes that DJ Premier is both a major influence and competition. That’s a real jewel, as respect and admiration for the competition has always been a hallmark of the “hip hop sensibility” (The BeatTips Manual contains a detailed analysis of the “hip hop sensibility.)”

Finally, Pete Rock drops a surprise when he says that Kanye told him that for his song “Runaway” (from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy), he sampled his [Pete Rock’s] drums from a Pete Rock & CL Smooth album. Does this mean that Pete Rock is in line for royalties, or was the matter resolved when Pete Rock gave Kanye the beat for “Joy” (a dope song curiously left off of Kanye’s latest LP, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy)? Perhaps. I don’t think a pioneer like Pete Rock would pursue action against another beatmaker (producer) who sampled a drum pattern he created. Plus, I gotta (or at least, I want to) believe that Pete Rock was compensated for the “Joy” beat in some form. Either way, “Joy” was a good look for both Pete Rock and Kanye West, which means that it was also a very good look for beatmaking.

The music and videos below are presented here for the purpose of scholarship.

*EXCLUSIVE* Pete Rock On DJ Premier & CL Smooth Album, Producing (via The Hip Hop Chronicle UK)


Kanye West – “Runaway” [Reportedly featuring the drum work of Pete Rock]

---
The BeatTips Manual by Sa'id.
"The most trusted source for information on beatmaking and hip hop/rap music education."

Dedicated to exploring the art of beatmaking in all of its glory.

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  • Top 5 Myths About Sampling and Copyright Law


    "Sampling is piracy."
    WRONG! Piracy describes the wholesale, verbatim copying and distribution of copyrighted works. That is not sampling; that's something entirely different.
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    "You can legally sample and use any recording up to 1, 2, 3, or 4 seconds."
    WRONG! Under existing copyright law, there is no clear, predetermined length (amount in seconds) that is “legally” permissible to sample.
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    "If you use samples on a free mixtape, it’s perfectly O.K."
    WRONG! A free mixtape does NOT permit you to use samples from copyrighted recordings without the permission of the copyright holders.
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    WRONG! Sampling is an art form that requires technical skill, imagination, and artistic understanding.
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    "Sampling involves the use of pre-recorded songs only."
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