Algorithmic Control I: Intellectual Property

Sampling in Hip-Hop is an integral part of the sound of Hip-Hop. Artists like Kanye West have built their career off of samples and their creative manipulation of them. However, this can be a dangerous game and raises the question, at what point does a sample become its own sound?

Some samples can be distorted to such an extent that it’s almost unrecognisable, such as J. Cole’s Neighbours, where he reverses an older song of his called Forbidden Fruit. The original sampled used is by Ronnie Foster in his 1972 song Mystic Brew, but Cole reversed, slowed and pitched down the sample, creating something that sounds far different.

Producers and artists manipulation of samples questions the ‘rules’ of intellectual property entirely. For more examples, take a look at a series by YouTuber nosbo 2007 who collates Hip-Hop songs and their original samples.

In an original piece of my own, I sample Blink 182’s What’s My Age Again? in the intro and bridge. The original sample is slightly sped and pitched up so I would be interested to hear if you would have recognised this sample without me telling you. Let me know in the comments below some of the craziest and most unrecognisable samples you’ve heard!

Frank Tremain.


One thought on “Algorithmic Control I: Intellectual Property

  1. James Muggeridge May 31, 2019 / 9:16 am

    Hey Frank, this post on sampling in music provides insight on how music is created and made in the industry. The source by Genius conveys a perfect example on​​ how it is applied in the industry. The notion of reversing a track and making it a new track is very interesting to me. Your remediation is great, applies perfectly to the topic of content creation and intellectual property. Overall you show how the music industry is using other artists content to create new content and give a personalised to twist, making it their own personalised content. Here is more information regarding the reuse of content and applying it in a unique way. The video shows sampling and repatching in pop music –


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