Sampling – the art of extracting an audio recording and recontextualizing it into something new. The production technique was popularized at the end of the 20th century, bringing genres like hip-hop to life through portable samplers like the Akai MPC60. Decades later, producers are still researching samples and using them to create modern beats and bangers. As the new year approaches, Tracklib took the liberty of exploring the use of samples in popular music in 2019.
Using music listed on Billboard’s Hot 100, Tracklib studies which genres used sampling most frequently, which years were sampled the most, how many producers used the art of sampling, and more.
I said hip hop …
Unsurprisingly, Tracklib discovered that hip-hop was the most sampled genre than any other genre. Most notably, the biggest song of the year, Old town road by Lil Nas X samples intro from 34 Ghosts IV by Nine Inch Nails. Another 14 songs from the Billboard Hot 100 contained samples, with a total of 17 samples used in the top 15% hottest tracks of the year. This is consistent with the past ten years, often fluctuating between 15 and 25%.
Looking at the Top 100 Albums of 2019, over half of all albums contain samples, a total of 59%. 321 samples appeared on the 100 albums, or 3 samples per album on average in all genres. Even major pop singers like Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande have practiced the art of sampling in their albums. Tyler the creators IGOR was the album with the most samples in the Top 100, with 13 samples.
Large scale samplers
Some of today’s biggest producers are using sampling to get a head start. Tracklib found that 83% of the top 30 producers of 2019 sample to create fresh music, with 60% of them sampled on at least one song released in 2019. Some of these producers include Kanye West, Madlib, Alchemist, JPEGMAFIA , 9th Wonder and more. .
A key moment this year in the sampling was the transfer of royalties and publishing rights from The Rolling Stones to The Verve. The classic hit of the late 90s Sweet Bitter Symphony contains an excerpt from The Rolling Stones’ TThe Last Time (Andrew Oldham Orchestra Version). During his reign, Richard Ashcroft of The Verve never received a dime from his sales. That was until Mick Jagger and Keith Richards signed all of their publishing rights in May.
Tracklib has created a platform that distributes pre-authorized music ready to be sampled, without the fear of sue. More recently, the company partnered with the Isaac Hayes estate to release the artist’s latest posthumous album as freely samplable material.
To view the full report, including graphics, go to tracklib.com. For more musical news, visit our news section.