Sampling and influences
One of the more sensitive areas of Hip Hop music and one of the reasons people from outside have for many years looked down their noses at the industry. As with many things in life, we must strive to fully understand the subject before commenting and forming opinions. There is a fine line between plagiarism and inspiration.
Music is essentially a collection of notes played in a certain order using a variety of instruments, whilst painting is a collection of brushstrokes using a range of colours. My personal opinion on sampling is that it can breed creativity and open peoples minds to music that if wasn't sampled may have been lost to time.
Put it this way, I discovered and fell in love with Hip Hop first and over years that love led me to discover soul, jazz, funk and latin music I would more than likely never have listened to if it weren't for sampling.
Having said that, I am not for ALL sampling. I believe the sample of original music should act as a guide and a set of sounds. Sampling drums and re-ordering those drums to create your own patterns is dope and just like playing on the same drum kit as the original drummer. Also, the use of a whole drum break to layer with your own drum hits is also creative, but copying verbatim is a bit lazy in my opinion.
Then we look at musical breaks, snippets of pre-recorded music from a different genre. There are many ways to sample. It's all about the layering for me and flipping the sample in a different way by chopping and re-arranging or even layering the original with different elements to create something the original artist would never have thought of doing.
To quantify all of this, I look at the web design industry (stay with me guys and gals). The advance of the web development and in turn rapid growth of the online world owes a lot to the concept of open source. Where own developer formulates an idea and puts it out there for others to take and develop a step forward or in a different way and in turn share it back to other developers. This selfless concept breeds accelerated development, innovation and advancement.
Sampling used this concept but originally didn't ask for permission from the original artist. And because of the commercialism and greed of the industry music was never going to be open source in the same way. Everyone wants their piece of the pie.