Some Lawyer Caught You Sampling and He Said "No Way!"

AllHipHopNews reports:

The Beastie Boys have been hit with lawsuit over four tracks, two on their landmark debut album Licensed To Ill and two from their follow-up, Paul's Boutique.

HipHop/R&B label Tuf America filed the lawsuit against all members of the Beastie Boys on May 3, just one day before member Adam "MCA" Yauch died from cancer on May 4.

Tuf America filed the lawsuit in United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The lawsuit claims that the Beasties illegally sampled Trouble Funk's songs "Say What" and "Drop The Bomb."...Tuf America said they did a thorough sound analysis of the tracks in question and concluded that the Beastie Boys illegally incorporated elements of the songs without permission.

Leigh Beadon comments at TechDirt:

When we reported the unfortunate news of Adam "MCA" Yauch's death, we pointed to the EFF's call for an appropriate tribute to the beloved artist: an end to the legal war on sampling. The Beastie Boys produced some of the earliest sample-based music -- including their seminal Paul's Boutique, widely seen as one of the best and most influential albums ever -- just before the courts started coming down hard on sampling, more or less entirely tossing out the concepts of fair use, transformative work and de minimis copying that should protect samplers in many cases. Most experts agree that, today, an album like Paul's Boutique could never be officially released, since licensing the hundreds of samples used would cost exorbitant amounts -- but that hasn't diminished the album's importance, nor has it stopped countless producers from continuing to work with unlicensed samples and release their work as bootlegs. In other words, the law does not match reality: sampling is a valid and vital form of creativity that can and will continue, even though nowadays it's either impossibly pricey or just illegal. What better tribute could there be to one of the fathers of sample-based music than to finally officially legitimize it as the important (and amazing) art form that it is?

Instead, we get the opposite....One would think that the simple fact that a "thorough sound analysis" was necessary means this is clearly a case of transformative work, but unfortunately, as mentioned, the courts have pretty much completely eliminated that defense when it comes to sampling. Moreover, where has Tuf America been this whole time? The Beastie Boys albums came out in 1986 and 1989, and now, a quarter-century later, Tuf America is claiming they deserve a payout? Their legal argument will, by necessity, rely on significant rulings that came out after the albums, which were released under the common sense assumption of the time: that sampling was creative and transformative art that didn't require a license.

Update: Down in the comment thread, Hit & Run regular Gilmore picks two nits with the TechDirt piece. (1) The Beastie Boys didn't "produce" Paul's Boutique; the Dust Brothers did. (2) Despite the time dilation effect caused by looking back from 2012, Paul's Boutique really isn't one of the "earliest" sample-based pieces of music. True on both counts.

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  • Leonard Rockstein||

    It will always be easier to sample something that is already cool than to create your own cool music. Not that being good at sampling is easy, but if you want to use other people's music you should pay for it. I have no sympathy for the whiney samplers of the world.

  • ChrisO||

    I agree with this. I've never really considered samplers to be "musicians."

    If you're making millions of dollars off of someone else's work, they should be getting a piece of the action.

    I can see how the licensing arrangement for samples is kind of screwed up, but screwing over the original musicians is not the answer.

  • ||

    I agree with this. I've never really considered samplers to be "musicians."

    Clearly, you've never listened to Girl Talk.

  • ||

    Gregg's a fun guy. I used to party with him occasionally in college, and it still weirds me the fuck out that he's a rock star now.

  • ||

    *spit take*

    Whaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  • Randian||

    There's only like 50 people left in Cleveland. It's inevitable that they all know each other.

  • ||

    But they have such promising tourism videos!

  • l0b0t||

    Negativland disagrees with you.

  • ||

    Translation: "I'm an old man. I hate everything but 'Matlock.' "

  • Amakudari||

    Yeah, I really don't see this for transformative sampling. What the Beastie Boys sampled was the sound of a bomb dropping, which was heavily modified in the intro. Queen and David Bowie suing Vanilla Ice for "Ice Ice Baby" (IIRC they settled, but still)? Sure. This isn't anywhere close.

  • sticks||

    I've never considered most musicians to be musicians. I mean they just pick from a limited set of notes with a limited set of possible arrangements.

  • BakedPenguin||

    What about bands that do both, such as Soul Coughing?

  • Dick Fitzwell||

    What's worse is when a group of assholes like this have guys in their video playing bass and guitar pretending like the whole song wasn't one long Chili Pepper's sample.

    Makes me want to stab those fuckers' heads off with a rusty spoon.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Yeah, even if they were playing, it was a ripoff. I made it about 15 seconds into that.

  • ||

    I remember that song from high school. NEVER AGAIN

  • Randian||

    I love the YouTube comment that says "Man, they don't make music like this anymore."

    THANK GOD.

    I like to think Shifty Shellshock's drug problems are a result of the massive guilt he feels for inflicting "Butterfly" on the world. Every night he shoots up, cries, and screams OH MY GOD WHAT HAVE I DONE...

  • Amakudari||

    I forgot this song ever existed, but at least the horrors of remembering it are tempered by the comfort that justice does exist in this world.

  • Mensan||

    I had completely forgotten that song ever existed. I was okay with that, but now you've ruined everything. Thanks a lot, Dick.

  • ||

    I often use that song as an example of what I consider "good" sampling (i.e. sampling that adds artistic value rather than just ripping off a riff), particularly the Andrews Sisters' "Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree" sample. By comparison, this sampling by Sleigh Bells blows.

  • ||

    An attractive girl with a gun begs you to reconsider

  • Ken Shultz||

    I think the only thing they sampled from "Drop the Bomb" was that opening drum riff for "Hold it, Now Hit It".

    I think there's a market problem with being able to price something like that. DJ's have the same problem, don't they? It's just when they record the the DJ stuff they do, they end up...

    It's almost like saying that DJ'ing isn't an art form.

  • ||

    Alt text: That hypocrite burns rips tracks a day

  • ||

    Wow, fucked that up.

    "That hypocrite rips two tracks a day"

  • sarcasmic||

    Beat me to it.

  • ChrisO||

    The statute of limitations on copyright infringement claims is three years. I'm assuming Tuf America will argue that the "last act" of infringement was not when the music was originally released in the '80s, but is actually ongoing infringement, since the albums are presumably still in print. However, I believe damages would only be available for the infringement over the last three years, not all sales of the albums over the last 20+ years. That's typically how "ongoing violation" damages are handled. Since I doubt either album has sold a zillion copies in the last three years, Tuf America probably isn't looking at huge damages.

  • Another David||

    Except that you can be sure they've sold a lot more copies in the last week than they did in the previous, say, year.

  • Drake||

    So the attorneys were circling the deathbed.

  • ||

    Sampling is no different (in my mind) than using the design of the Campbell soup can in your painting- or pre-existing architectural features in your photography.

    It is taking an original creation, showing part of it in a different way combined with other artistic sentiments (mostly original) and representing it as a new work.

    What's the deal, yo?

    (also, I couldn't NOT sleep 'til Brooklyn, but I live in Texas.. unless I was flying I guess.)

  • rho||

    Paul's Boutique is nothing but samples.

    Still their best album, too.

  • kinnath||

    I'm a pretty hardcore pro-IP guy. I've been in lots of arguments here on H&R defending patents and copyright.

    But it is obvious to me that sampling is fair use so long as the sample is limited in length and transformative in use. It's no different than cutting snippets of photographs from magazines and making a collage. The courts have really fucked this up.

  • l0b0t||

    Kinnath, have you read Negativland's book about their IP ordeal Fair Use: The Story Of The Letter U And The Numeral 2? I would be interested in your take on their situation.

  • kinnath||

    I have not heard of Negativland or their book.

  • l0b0t||

  • kinnath||

    Negativland's next project was the U2 EP, with samples from American Top 40 host Casey Kasem. In 1991, Negativland released a single with the title "U2" displayed in very large type on the front of the packaging, and "Negativland" in a smaller typeface. An image of the Lockheed U-2 spy plane was also on the single cover.

    . . . . .

    U2's label Island Records quickly sued Negativland, claiming that placing the word "U2" on the cover violated trademark law, as did the song itself. Island Records also contended that the single was an attempt to deliberately confuse U2 fans, awaiting the impending release of Achtung Baby, into purchasing what they believed was a new U2 album called Negativland.

    Sounds like a legitimate tradmark complaint to me.

  • RBS||

    Still, trolling U2 is pretty funny. I hate that band so much.

  • kinnath||

    There would have been many ways to convey the message without infringing U2's trademark.

    Humiliating rocks stars, pop stars, etc. is always good fun.

  • Paul.||

    Island Records also contended that the single was an attempt to deliberately confuse U2 fans,

    Based on my experience, this would not be difficult to do.

  • ||

    U2 probably should not have borrowed their name from a previously existing product if they wanted to be so protective of it.

  • kinnath||

    Apple computers meets Apple records.

    A music album with "U2" in the major font really was intended to confuse someone wanting to buy U2 music.

  • R C Dean||

    What kinnath said.

  • ||

    I'd like to know what kind of "analysis" was done to determine that their sample was ripped. I'm no technician, but I'd imagine that short of actually receiving the recordings directly from the studio, duplicating electronic sounds would have been hard as balls in the '80s.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    Still, it's a derivative work. You have a limiting principle you'd like to share? Of course not, because the whole IP system is a utilitarian ad hoc scheme, which will, by definition, always be run by power seeking statists and/or their crony cohorts.

  • kinnath||

    Romeo and Juliet is a derivative work. So what's your point?

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    1) IP* on "derivative works" sucks.

    2) all IP is IP on "derivative works"

    3) therefore, IP sucks.

    whenever I write IP please infer big heavy sarcastic asshole scare quotes around the "Property" part. please.

  • T||

    This is what helped Dr. Dre get the production work he did. He has a fairly comprehensive collection of mid-70s equipment. A lot of what you hear as 'sample' on a Dre produced track is actually newly recorded with vintage equipment. This allows the artist/label to pay the lower rates for recording the composition rather than the rates for sampling. Yet another unintended consequence of the bizarro legal regime.

  • Randian||

    Although I will sign onto the kinnath/RC opinion on this subject, that legal regime isn't "bizarro" if you believe its purpose is to encourage originality and discourage derivatives.

  • kinnath||

    The RIAA has mounted a long and instense effort to destroy the very concept of fair use.

  • R C Dean||

    Of course, derivatives can be quite original and creative, as well.

    In the literature realm, the mashups of Victorian classics/horror are quite entertaining, for example.

  • ||

    That's the tricky thing. Even if you make a rule, you'll invariably find something that breaks it that you still find to have artistic merit, and you can't create a legal test for artistic merit. For example, my general rule is that if your song is built around a sampled riff (e.g. U Can't Touch This or Ice Ice Baby) then you're just ripping off the artist. But a huge exception to me would be this track by Das Racist, where the artistic merit in my opinion requires that the listener be familiar with the sampled track. Of course, from a legal standpoint I can see why the original artist should get a cut for such sampling, even if it has artistic merit. But as an alternative I would suggest that the artist should be able to give away such artwork for free if they're not granted permission to sample it commercially (which is what has ended up happening in practice; that Das Racist track was released in a free mixtape).

  • ||

    First, awesome song by Das Racist.

    Second, how do you feel about the use of the Grateful Dead sample in this song? It was licensed, so it's definitely legal, but do you feel it would've been fair use if they hadn't been able to pay?

  • ||

    Er, this link is better if you don't want to sit through the first three minutes of intro. Sorry about that.

  • ||

    Yeah, I would definitely consider that fair use. It's sort of like a line-up, if I play the original song, and then play five songs with samples, I don't think you'd pick out the Animal Collective song as the one that samples the Dead.

  • kinnath||

    Brilliant track by Das Racist.

    But yeah, it really stretches the boundary of what I would consider fair use with requiring constent from the original artist.

  • kinnath||

    what I would consider fair use with out requiring constent from the original artist

  • ||

    Why should there be any sort of laws to "encourage" creativity at all? I'm curious as to why you believe that is a legitimate gov't function.

  • robc||

    +++++++++

  • Iamtheeviltwin||

    That was my thought as well.

  • Another David||

    IP is a creation of the state from the get-go. And once you accept the existence of the public domain as a thing into which copyrighted works may pass, you're also accepting that IP laws should have exceptions to benefit the general public at the expense of rights-holders. After that it's just a matter of degree.

  • Paul.||

    I dunno, there's sampling and then there's sampling. You can cut an entire melody loop to a tune and rap over it, add some drum beats and call it an original piece of music when in reality, you did a re-mix.

    It seems reasonable to me that if you're going to crop major parts of tunes you should at minimum give credit, and at maximum pay for the use.

    This concept of sampling isn't just the exclusive domain of music.

    We know for a fact that writers don't like it when their work is sampled, and there was a case where a photographer's work was sampled by another artist who made a sculpture out of one of his pictures and sold it as original art.

  • ChrisO||

    Despite my earlier comment, there's definitely something to this. A lot of the earlier hip-hop sampling stuff I've heard incorporated huge chunks of classic recordings. It seems like the more recent stuff I've heard (don't care much for hip-hop) takes just a measure here and there and tweezes it pretty radically. You have to really know the source material well to even hear it at all, unlike, say, "You Can't Touch This."

  • Paul.||

    I don't know how old you are, but it depends how far back you go and who you listen to. In what I call the golden era of Hip-hip- the mid-to-late 90s, the samping was, as kinnath said above, limited in length and transformative in use.

    There's a lot of heavily jazz-influenced hip-hop out there that never got played on top 40 which followed this paradigm.

    However, during that same time you had the Puff-daddy's, P-Diddy's and what not who were essentially just remixing entire tunes. However, I'm guessing that these guys, being the mainstream-iest of the mainstream, they probably paid for the priviledge.

    I'd be curious about some of the outliers like Ton-loc who clearly sampled Van Halen's "Jamie's Crying" for "Wild Thing", etc. Not sure if he paid for that one.

  • kinnath||

    There are artists, and there are hacks. It's always appealing to crush the hacks, even if it crushes artists as well.

    The two "samples" that drove the key court cases where extended cuts with very little done to them. The court rulings that these were not fair use were not out of line. However, these rulings have since been used as a cudgel to destroy legitimate sampling.

    By the way, I mostly hate hip/hop and my only interest in these cases is the IP stuff.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Queen and Davis Bowie eventually did receive credits and royalties on "Ice, Ice, baby", if that helps.

  • ChrisO||

    I'm old enough that the mid-late '90s doesn't seem "old" to me. I never got past Run-DMC when it came to hip-hop.

    The only hip-hop I really know is what I've heard on TV or in passing elsewhere, so I don't know enough about it to speak authoritatively.

    It did seem like there was a trend in the early '90s for the "pop rappers" to use whole snippets of highly recognizable songs as a gimmick. That seems pretty clearly over the line to me. Of course, MC Hammer apparently blew all his money on bad outfits, so it's not like the Rick James estate could go after him anymore.

    Using smaller samples and highly modifying them is a different case.

  • Paul.||

    I'm old enough that the mid-late '90s doesn't seem "old" to me. I never got past Run-DMC when it came to hip-hop.

    Run-DMC was like hip-hop for white kids. I was never a DMC fan.

    I was more a fan of people like Pete Rock, Q-Tip, Mos Def, Foreign Exchange, Camp Lo etc.

    The only hip-hop I really know is what I've heard on TV or in passing elsewhere, so I don't know enough about it to speak authoritatively.

    Services like Pandora and what not are good for finding new artists- especially if you're not familiar with a genre.

    Hip-hop and rap are largely in the crapper right now, especially anything you hear on top40. I don't follow the scene closely, so I'm not sure if anyone's putting out anything particularly good right now. It seems like whenever I hear a track that catches my ear, turns out it's some old school joint from 1998 that I never caught back then.

    This is not to say that mainstream hip-hop and rap haven't had their stars-- they do. They just seem fewer and far between-er than ever before.

  • ChrisO||

    As a guitar-playing jazz/fusion/funk/metal guy, hip-hop doesn't have a lot to offer me. It's like funk with the brainpower removed.

  • ||

    I get what you're saying, and as I noted above with my comparison of Soul Coughing to Sleigh Bells, there's definitely a difference between "artful" sampling and just ripping somebody off. Unfortunately, I think the difficulty comes in where you draw the line. I'm sympathetic to the idea that if somebody makes millions off of a sample you made, you want a cut. But at the same time, YOU weren't the one who added value to that sample. It's more like hitting the lottery. So when in doubt, I'd rather err on the side that promotes artistic expression than the side that stifles it.

  • Paul.||

    Soul Coughing is an awesome group. Therefore anything they sample passes legal muster.

  • R C Dean||

    Play the original song for the jury, and play two other songs for the jury, one that has the sample in it, and a similar one that does not.

    If the jury thinks the one with teh sample should have paid for the privilege, so be it.

    If you like arbitrary rules (which have the virtue of being consistent and predictable), set a length for an acceptable sample (say, four seconds).

  • Paul.||

    Or they could just be featured on "Name That Tune", if the player wins, the artist has to pay.

  • ||

    My favorite middle-finger to anti-sampling laws is this They Might Be Giants remix that just gratuitously samples anything they could come up with.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    Whatever

  • Mr Whipple||

    Whether you are pro-IP or anti-IP, there has to be agreement that the current IP laws are completely out of hand.

  • kinnath||

    Yes copyright without fair use is tyranny.

  • ChrisO||

    Agreed completely. More egregious than the issue of sampling is the regular extending of copyright terms. Originally, it was 14 years with the ability to file for another 14-year extension. Now, it's life of the author plus 75 years. That's way too long, IMHO, and the Europeans have gone even further--life of the author plus 95 years. Pretty soon, Shakespeare's heirs are going to have to start looking for a solicitor...

  • GILMORE||

    Note: "Tuf America" --->Tuff City,
    --> aka Aaron Fuchs

    See wikipedia entry on him. He's been doing this thing for quite some time. Back in the 80s he bought the rights to tunes already-sampled, and started a lawsuit campaign...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuff_City_Records

    He is actually sort of a nice guy. I met him @ N.O. Jazzfest once.

  • GILMORE||

    Mr Fuchs is also the current proprietor of Funky Delicacies (reissue label)

    The guy is kind of famous/infamous in the NYC hiphop world. He was sort of the poor man's Rick Rubin. Or rather, maybe the Chess Records of the 1980s.

  • BoscoH||

    The Gap Band wants their concept back.

  • GILMORE||

    The Beastie Boys produced some of the earliest sample-based music -- including their seminal Paul's Boutique, widely seen as one of the
    best and most influential albums ever

    This is actually incorrect on a couple of levels.

    First - by 1989, sampling was already de rigeur and well-established, and many of the 'most famous' riffs/breaks (e.g. 'Hard to Handle' in Marley Marl's "Symphony", Erik B & Rakim, "Paid in Full", etc) had already become part of the popular lexicon. by no means was ANYTHING they ever did "the earliest sample based music". That's pretending names like Red Alert, Marley Marl, Erik B, Afrika Bambaata, Kool Herc, etc didn't exist... what the fuck?!

    Second - the beasties didn't even produce that record: the Dust Brothers did.

    You listen to 'License to Ill', then listen to 'Paul's Boutique', they are entirely different. The beasties were trying to ride the coat-tails of other more-successful 'crossover' hiphop artists of that year (1989)... like Ton Loc, and Young M.C., both of whom had chart-toppers. in effort to change their sound, they hired the same people who produced *those* records = the Dust Brothers.

    It is also notable that Paul's Boutique didn't even really start selling well until the *late 90s*. Ton Loc, by contrast, went platinum the same year it was released.

    But, yeah... White Rappers.... Pioneers.... Greatest Record Ever...

  • T||

    I remember, back in the day, the word around the barracks was that Paul's Boutique sucked.

    The Dust Brothers are also notable for producing MMMBop for Hanson. I doubt they can ever make up for that.

  • GILMORE||

    The Dust Brothers are also notable for producing MMMBop for Hanson. I doubt they can ever make up for that

    Beck: Odelay

    Done and done... but ooooohhh! snap. Then they did Bridges to Babylon for the Rolling Stones. I think that probably requires some burning-in-eternal-hellfire

    ""it's true cultural relevance is exposing sample-based hip-hop to white suburbanites ""

    I think even Ton Loc beat them to that. Funky Cold Medina, baby.

    As already stated... people seem to forget that Paul's Boutique *was not particularly successful* when it came out in 1989. It didn't go platinum for 10 years. Most people bought the record *after* they bought Check Your Head. Its Cultural Relevance...? It has confused a number of white people into telling others "they like *some* rap music".

  • Xmas||

    I bought Paul's Boutique on tape right when it came out. I liked "High Plains Drifter" and loved Shadrach. But the album was all concept, it was hard to listen to for fun. I mean, The Sound of Science is a fun song in the middle, but it is all over the place.

  • ||

    I finally downloaded Paul's Boutique over the weekend after a friend of mine implored me to. While I knew of its critical stature, I was never into early Beasties because I saw them as a white Run DMC. While Paul's Boutique certainly doesn't sound like a Run DMC knock-off, it still isn't striking me as THAT incredible as an album and I can't shake my suspicion that it's true cultural relevance is exposing sample-based hip-hop to white suburbanites (as opposed to being truly innovative).

  • ||

    And motherfucker, that should be "ITS true cultural relevance." Where's my damn edit button?

  • Paul.||

    I was never a Beastie Boys fan. That is all.

  • oncogenesis||

    I was going to post the same corrections regarding the prevalence of sampling in rap prior to 1989, and the failure to acknowledge the Dust Brothers as the musical force behind Paul's Boutique. So kudos. But then you blew it by writing this:

    The beasties were trying to ride the coat-tails of other more-successful 'crossover' hiphop artists of that year (1989)

    Bullshit. Read The Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique (33 1/3) for the story of how the Beastie Boys met and collaborated with the Dust Brothers.

  • GILMORE||

    It's just a coincidence they put out a sample-based record produced by the Dust Bros, when the Dust Bros had just done two other chart-topping sample-based hiphop records... TOTAL COINCIDENCE.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lōc-ed_After_Dark

  • GILMORE||

    Also, the fact that more than half the material had been already recorded for a Dust Brothers instrumental record? Total conincidence. Serendipity.

  • GILMORE||

    FWIW, my opinion here bro is based on having been 15-16 yrs old at the time, living in NYC, and a hiphop enthusiast. It means nothing, but all i'm offering is the POV of someone who was contemporary to the actual stuff. If I think PB was 'intended' to be a 'coat-tail' to other 'pop hip-hop', it is largely because of the context. at the time everything and everyone was fucking turning hiphop into commercial materiel. it is still today a running joke. while we take for granted that white rappers are perfectly legit today (thanks, eminem, or perhaps MC Serch), at the time it was pretty obviously a cultural opportunism that may not be clear when looking backward....

    but whatever.... if someone wrote a book about the record, I suppose that makes it as important as Dark Side of the Moon....

  • Jesse Walker||

    Second - the beasties didn't even produce that record: the Dust Brothers did.

    You're right, of course, and if I'd absorbed the word "produced" in the quote I would have commented on that. But I don't think Beadon was trying to claim the Beasties were the producers; I think that was just a poorly-chosen synonym for "recorded."

    The "earliest" is more inexcusable, given that some musicians were sampling before hip hop even came along.

  • GILMORE||

    re: Jesse = I think it's fair to excuse people who aren't like proper 'music journalists' for fudging the distinctions between things like, "write, produce, record, engineer" etc. It was just that the claim was so baldly direct in claiming a) the beasties were the auteurs of that particular record, when they blatantly weren't, and b) that it was "early", or in any way "groundbreaking", which is absurd and ignorant of the history of music production at the time. For #@)($ sake, *everyone* was sampling at that point. I'll give one this - it was one of the best early examples of what sampling could do! but that isn't the same thing. And credit goes to the Bros for it in any case. If any talk about 'early sampling' and artistry is going to happen, if the name Steinski or Marley Marl isn't even mentioned... then the writer is just ... well, maybe 20 years younger than me. I still have all that crap on vinyl.

  • Jesse Walker||

    I think "one of the best early examples of what sampling could do" qualifies an album as "groundbreaking."

    I feel your pain on the authorship issue. In a fair world, producers like the Dust Brothers and the Bomb Squad would have had their names on the covers of their records, right next to the rappers who collaborated with them.

  • GILMORE||

    late, late rebuttal =

    "Jesse Walker| 5.10.12 @ 11:02AM |#

    I think "one of the best early examples of what sampling could do" qualifies an album as "groundbreaking."

    perhaps after a mention of the works of many, many others - as in, Marley Marl, Steinski, even remixes by Coldcut et al... i still from memory think of the Beasties 'check your head' as more 'groundbreaking' an album for finally crossing the line between punk ethos and hiphop... which actually was extremely influential to everyone who heard it, as opposed to PB, which was largely considered a next-run sort of product...

  • robc||

    Simple answer: end the travesty that is copyright.

  • txgypsy||

    I havent listened to much hip hop since the "gangsta rappers" fucked it all up, but,for me, the fun part was searching out where the samples came from....this was before youtube and grooveshark......

  • GILMORE||

    One would think whomever owns the Trouble Funk rights might find more obvious targets....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z62DWfcYMxU

    ...also a better song!

  • GILMORE||

    My guess? Suing Brand Nubian wouldn't yield much - they're mostly broke I'd expect. Much better to go after some small minor sample used by very successful record-sellers...

  • GILMORE||

    ... I think the easy proof of one point =

    1983-1986

    The "Lessons" of Double Dee and Steinski...

    Lessons 2-3

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....ure=relmfu

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....ure=relmfu

    compare that to how "innovative" Paul's Boutique really was, in contrast. What it really was....? a popularization of what was already an established DJ style of mixing different stuff together...which had been going on for a decade before the beasties ever ever even showed up. And which BTW, people still do today in the newly coined non-genre of 'mashups'. examples of Girl Talk, Kid 606, Negativeland, Diplo/Hollertronix, The Rub, etc. are all relevant... but this stuff has been going on for a very, very long time, and people shouldn't be giving credit in any particular place without knowing what they're talking about.

    A guy I vaguely am familiar with who's an expert on this type of stuff is Egon from (well, a decade ago) Stone's Throw records... he was a DJ at my university in the 90s. Good guy. Good DJ.

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  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

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