Warhol, Lichtenstein, Picasso, and Wu-Tang Clan

By Ta-Nehisi Coates
by Ricardo Gutierrez

I've had a few discussions with engineers (usually older engineers who didn't grow up with Hip-Hop) who don't consider Hip-Hop an art. I've been told, in so many words, that they felt like Hip-Hop music is theft of other music and unoriginal. It's hard to speak in general terms like that, obviously. Do I think some of it's songs are unoriginal? Sure, maybe even a lot of them are unoriginal. But I think there are enough examples of creative sampling to make the blanket statement idiotic.

I owe the majority of my music knowledge to Hip-Hop. It is precisely because of Hip-Hop that I understand the depth of James Brown's influence. It's because of it that I know that Bob James and Galt McDermot (yes, the guy who did the Hair soundtrack) are two of the funkiest white men on the planet. The list really can go on for a very long time, so I'll stop there.

I mean that literally. I would not know some of this music existed without Hip-Hop. Or, at least, I wouldn't have been led down this path without it. I get excited when I hear the original sample to something and I seek it out. Some of the originals still get played long after I've stopped listening the the sampled version. Not bad for an artist who may have been doomed to obscurity. This weeks passing of Melvin Bliss brings him to mind as an example.

You guys have talked about Pete Rock & CL's "They Reminisce Over You" a lot. The first time I heard Tom Scott's "Today" I got chills. Hell, I still get chills when the loop comes in. And I wouldn't have known who they hell Tom Scott was if it weren't for Pete Rock. 

Peep Scott's "Today" below. At around the :55 mark you start hearing the basis of "T.R.O.Y.". 1:39 is true goose-bumps time for me though. Extra special bonus, the start of the track is host to a Black Sheep sample from "Similak Child". (Black Sheep actually sampled Jefferson Airplane's version of "Today".)
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