Harlem Shake: could it kill sampling?

Baauer pic Guardian Jen Maler Camera Press

Here’s a fascinating article on the history of sampling – probably of more interest to those who don’t already broadly know about it, but good reading in either case.

I think it’s entirely fair that artists and publishers/labels should get fair compensation when their hard work is used, particularly without knowledge or permission, but it’s equally unfair not to recognise the transformative use of clever sampling.

I do think Girl Talk should get rich off his work – just work out some deal to pay a percentage (not all!) to those he’s ‘borrowed’ from – because he is also a hardworking artist.

I’m not sure that the Harlem Shake quite merits a comparison, but there’s something very wrong if you don’t earn a bean from a number one hit.




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