I honestly believe that music doesn’t get the credit it deserves, which stems from creators not respecting their craft or the audience not seeing the greater power and use of music.
For me, music captures the sentiment of feelings and emotions, it becomes the soundtrack to your very existence. You can either zone out and shut yourself away from the world to meditate, or you can use it to elevate yourself and those around you.
In my second year at Uni I delved into the origins of Hip Hop, through authors such as Patricia Rose et al, I traced it back to the African and Caribbean diaspora where there was an emphasis on rhythm, and the looping of the rhythm to create a heightened atmosphere in order to capture the spirit of everyones collective mood and contain it for the benefits of ritual.
If you apply this to the way that Hip Hop producers appropriated the likes of samplers, which were used by the recording industry elite as soundbanks to map out ideas for compositions, you begin to see that the influence came around full circle as if by accident.
When the Hip Hoppers got hold of the sampler and the turntable they turned them into an instrument out of limitation. This was all in an era where cuts were made across the board, affecting many poor inner city kids… Besides the technique applied to sampling came from breaks where the DJ would capture the instrumental break of a record where the drummer got busy, considered the best bit, and juggle between two records to keep it looping.
Once samplers had become the main instrument, the best bits were lifted from the original recording, a heightened moment in the song, a chord progression or vocal accent, then put to a groove, usually at odds with the sample which bridged the gap between western and eastern culture -western music having the emphasis on elaborate melody which in most cases progressed rather than looped, as opposed to the tribe-like origins of the drums used in African music, classical music had hardly any percussive or drum sections.
Hip Hop is bricolage because through it’s production techniques it lifts influences from everywhere to create something totally different, it’s an ever evolving juxtaposition of appropriation and originality.
I love it!!!
Hip Hop soundscapes are intriguing, combined with the tales of the wordsmith, they become thought provoking and inspirational.
Many of the samples used in Hip Hop records have led me to listen to a broad variety of musical genres from a young age. The music encourages you to search for it’s roots, you go from cornerstone to cornerstone, until you are so far beyond anything you’ve imagined.
The influences open your ears to so much more intriguing sounds and connections. Some of what you find takes a lot of patience to get into, but it’ll serve a sentiment and connect a dot to help you piece together the larger puzzle of influence…
Connect the dots.