When your favorite Musicians keep on giving you good songs back to back you fall in love with them and keep them in a special place in your heart, but what happens when you realize they were stealing melodies and lyrics from different sources, I personally felt heartbroken.
The modern world suggests we don’t call it Stealing but rather Sampling, I choose to call it Musical Appropriation. Musical appropriation according to me is the use of unique elements of a person’s musical work without permission or giving due credit. Sampling on the other hand is a form of stealing but this time with permission; so in all honesty most of what we call sampling is really plain old stealing. Why? It’s because our musicians never really get permission.
We have gone past the days of invention and are in a time of innovation, though we have to admit that the so-called ‘innovation’ is a bit shady. We are in a an age where a Justin Bieber song is obviously Dancehall but people choose to call it Tropical House or whatever just to avoid giving credit to the original founders. We are in an age where people would tell you Wizkid is greater than Fela, we are in the age of millennials and I have personally gotten used to the ignorance.
I am not against sampling, some of my favorite records carry heavy samples but what happens when you over do it, it sounds unoriginal and annoying. People need to educate themselves on the fact that there needs to be a limit to doing things, this is the main reason we have day to day conflicts because people overstep their boundaries. For instance, you help a breastfeeding mother hold her handbag in the bus and she carelessly lets the saliva of her child touch you on the face, and she doesn’t even apologize.
Let’s take a look at Wild Thoughts by Dj Khaleed; People might praise him for the brilliance of the sampling in the song but look at it this way remove the guitar solo by Santana and that song is an average song, an ordinary album filler. What annoys me is the fact that when some people hear the original song they be like; ‘so they have made a remix’, what ignorance!
Lets come back home; the weight of sampling injected in P-square songs, Chaii!! If you remove them, only God knows what the result would be. Let me tell you of one of my favorite P-square songs ‘Bizzy Body’ which really shook me. You may not know this but I really love hip-hop especially from the 90’s, so on a normal day I go in search of new albums from that era to listen to. One faithful day I happened to be listening to Ready or Not by The Fugees, and Lauren Hill’s part comes on and I see where P-square got my favourite line of Bizzy-body from, not just the line but the melody and a whole lot.
I feel disappointed not because they sampled but because they built a big part of their early career on taking bits out of a lot of people, that is not originality at all, this generation is doomed if we carry on like this. You cannot understand how I felt after listening to Get Squared the song as a kid and growing up to come across Usher’s Yeah or listening to Black Reverendz’s Ayangba Girls and later coming across Busta Rhymes’ Dangerous.
This is one of the things Rugged Man talked against in his diss song ‘Ehen’ ‘local rappers waiting for big international hits to come out so they can make a remix and sell it as an original’.
I say we are better than that and more talented than we are realize. Granted one cannot take away the fact that we need to listen to the older generation for inspiration but we shouldn’t stoop so low as to steal content from them without conscience, we don’t want our era to be later on tagged as ‘an era that mainly depended on remixing or reworking’, this is an era of innovation, but innovation with originality, limits and conscience.
And also Hip-hop heads should realize that the reduction in the rate of record sampling is positive and not negative; the spirit of Hip-hop is rebellion. We should be open to new ideas and new things, so Drake should be left to sing his choruses because he has the voice to and Olamide should keep on doing whatever he is doing, likewise Lil-Yatchy and the weird Nigerian Soundcloud artistes.
Auhor: Mallam Iliya