Week 11: Ashamed of Myself

Sampling music was the theme of this week’s classes. I knew what sampling was but, was not aware of the history behind it. The ability for poor DJs and musicians to have the idea of taking parts of different songs and creating a symphonious piece is a work of art and a skill.

I have heard of J-Dilla’s songs before but, I never thought too much into it. When we listened to Workonit, I was highly impressed at the level of organizing and talent it takes to make it sound good. I can now truly appreciate his songs as well as other artists who use sampling. DJ Angelo is ridiculously talented too! I am truly amazed how he took the time to look at each individual record to find a few seconds’ worth to put into his song and make it sound cool. I find it unfortunate that sampling has become illegal unless it’s been paid for. Artists who are unable to pay thousands of dollars are limited to what they can use and puts a cap on the amount of creativity being made.


Another more famous sampler, Elvis Presley, took songs and made them white- louder and faster. “That’s Alright Mama” and “Good Rockin’ Tonight” were songs Presley covered but, adjusted them to his audience landing him fame and fortune. I just think it is interesting to see that, once again, white people have stolen and profited off the work of black people. Credit was given but, how come Presley made so much more money than Arthur Crudup and Wynonie Harris? To be honest, I did not even know these covered songs were actually covers. I was under the assumption that Presley or his music label made the song. This just comes to show that people are not going to do the extra effort to see who actually made the song; they are just going to know who sang it “better.” I am ashamed and annoyed that I was not aware of original origins and gave all the credit to Presley when in fact, it should have been given to Crudup and Harris. It’s also strange, yet predictable, when Presley covered Billie Monroe’s, a white man, “Blue Moon of Kentucky” people were upset and Presley felt bad! Presley was doing what he normally does but, when it comes to copying a white man, there is a problem. Hmmmm!!!

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