Lately we’ve been talking a lot of business so I want to keep that going and talk about clearances in a little more detail. Artists must get permission to use samples of other artists’ work in their musical compositions or face legal trouble. The label used to go through the trouble of getting the sample(s) cleared but now a lot of new artists “break” on the internet and don’t have label support. A label deal is like the military, it’s not for everyone. If you don’t have the label support you may give the owner(s) a piece of the profits. Clearances may be warranted for a video game, movie, television show, interviews etc. Every sample request doesn’t get approved but some people do approve a good percentage of their requests. If an artist clears a song for another artist and it becomes a hit than other artist’s requests other samples from the original artist that could create a watered-down wave of music.
From the moment DJ Paul, Juicy J, and Frayser Boy won that Oscar the world has been hypnotized by their Memphis sound. DJ Paul and Juicy J clear at least three to four sample requests every day. You cannot name a “trap” song that doesn’t have a Three 6 Mafia sample. Project Pat, Lil Wyte, Gangsta Boo, La Chat, and rest in peace to Lord Infamous all contributed to the music you’re listening to today. I was quite the Hypnotize Camp Posse fan in my day and I have a lot of their CDs. I still listen to their music today because it is still quality music. It sounds better than the “trap” music but it should because it’s the original. If Paul and Juicy decide to stop clearing samples tomorrow which artists would survive? J. Cole’s name gets called out for making his own beats because people claim they don’t like them, yet they still buy his music. Reducing the number of sample clearances could increase originality and force creativity for a lot of producers. In turn, the rapping could elevate improving the sonic quality of the record.
It’s like there’s been a clearance sale for about three years now. “Black and Brown people love a good sale.” Even if that might be true everything that’s in the sale bin isn’t worth purchasing. Sometimes there’re are deodorant stains on it, spilled dye, discoloration, hanging thread, missing buttons or zippers. But some of you still buy it anyway. Just to look good for others, you want them to “think” you’re a great artist or musician when you’re really doing it for the approval of others. There’s nothing wrong with sampling and I respect Juicy J and DJ Paul for getting their money and owning most if not all of the publishing for your favorite A$AP Mob song. In fact I love samples when the song is of substance. If you want to be in the music game for an extended amount of time you can’t spend your entire career spending all your money on sample clearances.
“Make everybody have to go through security clearance.” – Drake (Pound Cake/Paris Morton Music 2)