Your Hip Hop moment for May 23, 2006

I finally figured out what it is about The Calling, by Aussie hip hoppers the Hilltop Hoods: It's the sampling. The sampling is heavy, textured, and all around awesome. It reminds me of the heyday of sample-heavy hip hop. They sample Del, the Poor Righteous Teachers, the B-boys, Public Enemy, Tribe, as well as many non-traditional sources. Once I realized why I was liking it so much, I realized that it couldn't possibly be legal.

Well, I'm guessing it isn't. For one thing, the album is not available in the U.S. And after reading this, I think they didn't even know what they were doing:
"... but to be honest I'd rather not talk about that because..." he hesitates, "um, we're not having legal issues, but it's not sorted out completely and I really shouldn't be talking about it."

He does openly speak of how that whole exercise has changed the way the group approaches sampling, however. "We had to either use things on this album that didn't need sample clearance, or the ones that did need sample clearance we had to chase after and get it," he explains. "You can sort of take care of it in the processes [of making a track]. If you're sampling a funk artist, they're sampled so much they've got the process in place: you just need to contact their people, they're people tell you how much it'll be and how much royalties they want, blah blah blah, and that's sort of easy. If you go into other genres and sample someone not used to it, it can become difficult. And also during the process you try not to sample records you know you're going to have trouble with," he adds with a smirk.

I've learned two things. First, the loss of the ability to sample freely is really, really hurting hip hop. Second, the followup Hilltop Hoods album is likely to suck rocks.

Since I can't legally link to a song of theirs, here, I'll leave you with some lyrics:
I'll fold your lyrics into origami.

(hey man, what's that)

It's a swan


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