Hip-Hop & Sampling


In music, the term sampling is the act of taking a portion, of one sound recording and reusing it as an instrument or a different sound recording of a song or piece.  This can be done from a machine called a sampler.

In the early 90’s, sampling was essential to the culture of hip hop.  If you listen to hip hop tracks from this time period, most beats are sampled from old school tracks.  You might hear songs from many different genres in different songs or even combined in one track.

Some tracks are played exactly how it was made in the past, and some are cut and pasted from pieces or parts of the old school track’s instrumental.


One group who essentially and consistently included jazz in their songs was – A Tribe Called Quest.

Here’s a song from their debut album The Low End Theory.  The song is called Jazz (We’ve Got).

  • The drums in this track is actually a sample from Five Stairsteps – Don’t Change Your Love – (1968).
  • The Jazz track that is sampled in this song is Lucky Thompson – Green Dolphin Street – (1972).

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