Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Sewell, Amanda. “Paul’s Boutique and Fear of a Black Planet: Digital Sampling and Musical Style in Hip Hop.” Journal of the Society for American Music 8 (Winter 2014): 28-48.

The Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique (1989) and Public Enemy’s Fear of a Black Planet (1990) are often compared for their abundant digital sampling, but these two albums use sampling in markedly different ways. This difference is evident with the introduction of a more systematic typology of digital sampling practices in hip-hop. In this new typology, there are three main types of samples: structural, surface, and lyric. Within the structural type—a looped sample that creates the groove of the track—there are four subtypes depending on which elements of the sample are used in the new track: percussion only, intact, non-percussion, and aggregate. While both Public Enemy and the Beastie Boys frequently use the aggregate structural type, the individual component samples are layered in Public Enemy’s grooves and alternating in the Beastie Boys’. Surface samples punctuate a track’s groove outside of the primary loop and can be momentary, emphatic, or constituent. Differing from the Beastie Boys’ style, momentary surface samples pervade tracks by Public Enemy, whose producers often create collages and quodlibets. Lyric samples add spoken or sung text from a source and can be singular or recurring. When using lyric samples, the Beastie Boys typically treat them as substitutions, preserving the rhyme scheme and meaning of their own rapped text. Public Enemy do not avoid substitutions, but more often treat lyric samples as additive, part of the groove and not replacing rapped text. Genre and race considerations also reveal meaningful differences between the Beastie Boys’ and Public Enemy’s sampling techniques. By analyzing Paul’s Boutique and Fear of a Black Planet with this typology, it is clear that there are rich possibilities in sampling a shared genre, artist, or track, and that close listening is fundamental in hip-hop production.

Works: Beastie Boys (Michael Diamond, Adam Horovitz, and Adam Yauch, performers), Dust Brothers (Mike Simpson and John King, producers): Johnny Ryall (36-37), Shake Your Rump (40), B-Boy Bouillabaisse (40-41); Public Enemy (Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Professor Griff, and Terminator X, performers), The Bomb Squad (Chuck D, Eric Sadler, Hank Shocklee, and Keith Shocklee, producers): 911 is a Joke (34-35), Anti-N—r Machine (38-39), Welcome to the Terrordome (39-40)

Sources: Lyn Collins: Think (34-35, 38-39); Wilbur Bascomb: Feel Like Dancing (34-35); Sound Experience: Devil with the Bust (34-35); Mico Wave: Misunderstood (34-35); Parliament: Flash Light (34-35, 38-39); Donny Hathaway: Magnificent Sanctuary Band (36-37); Paul McCartney: Momma Miss America (36-37); David Bromberg: Sharon (36-37); Grandwizard Theodore and Kevie Kev Rockwell: Military Cut-Scratch Mix (36-37); Salt ’n’ Pepa: My Mike Sounds Nice (38-39); Malcolm McLaren: Buffalo Gals (38-39); Zapp: More Bounce to the Ounce (38-39); Herman Kelly and Life: Dance to the Drummer’s Beat (38-39); Diana Ross and the Supremes: Love Child (38-39); Dyke and the Blazers: We Got More Soul (38-39); Schooly D: PSK—What Does it Mean? (38-39); Fab Five Freddy and Beside: Change the Beat (38-39); Pleasure: Let’s Dance (38-39); The 45 King: The 900 Number (38-39); Boogie Down Productions: South Bronx (38-39); Rufus Thomas: Funky Hot Grits (38-39); James Brown: Get Up, Get into It, Get Involved (39-40); Foxy: Get Off Your Aahh and Dance (40); Johnny Cash: Folsom Prison Blues (40-41)

Index Classifications: 1900s, Popular

Contributed by: Matthew Van Vleet

Except where otherwise noted, this website is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
Creative Commons Attribution License