‘Common decency’: Beyoncé’s renaissance sparks debate about the politics of the musical sample. music

RObin Stone finds out his ’90s house hit show Me Love was sampled break my soulThe lead single from Beyoncé’s new album Renaissance, at the same time as all others. As the artist rather than the writer and producer of the song, her approval was not needed to explain her use – nor does she receive any income from it.

While Stone sees the nod as praise and evidence of its 30-year relevance, it also brings to the fore old wounds. The song’s writers, Alan George and Fred MacFarlane, “never gave me my due credit”, she says. “That first note is mine, the ad libs are all mine, I’ve added flavor to it. They’re eating at my table and I’ve been feeding their families for 30 years.

Stone isn’t the only artist who has been shocked by his musical use on the Renaissance. This week, Beyoncé removed an interpolation — a type of sample in which portions of the song are re-recorded and frequently reworked — after the song Energy from Kelis’ 2003 hit Milkshake was later publicly criticized for being Beyoncé for “general decency.” “Not having to tell them this. As Kelis explained, the situation changed again. an alleged dispute The track is credited with songwriters, Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo of the Neptunes, who they claim “cheated” them of publishing rights to the two albums they made together.

Hayley Bowsher, author of Copyright in the Music Industry, says that Beyoncé The interpolation was not required to be removed for legal reasons, but it appears to have been done respectfully – and perhaps because of public perception.

“It doesn’t matter that Beyoncé didn’t actually infringe on Kelis’ rights,” Bowser says. “The point is people think he did it because the public isn’t educated about music copyright. [Kelis] She has no legal standing, but by being outspoken on social media, she builds emotional and moral capital.”

The discourse surrounding the Renaissance has opened up questions about the politics of sampling in modern pop. Sampling is big business today. In the credits of the 16-track Renaissance, there are allusions to 17 other songs. Meanwhile, half of the current UK Top 10 Singles chart contains samples, ranging from Silk’s 1979 track I Can’t Stop (Turning You On) to excerpts from the 2009 hit In for the Kill by La Roux.

as Producer and Beyoncé Sapna said this weekSampling came of age with the rise of hip-hop, about 50 years ago, when samples were used for sparse production due to a lack of funding. Today, hip-hop is the most popular genre in America, and dance—a more sampler-heavy genre—is experiencing a resurgence, with samples being a prerequisite for chart success.

While Beyoncé has been cautious about submitting all of her samples, not doing so — or being accused of not doing so — brings the potential for an expensive lawsuit after the music is released. In 2017, Ed Sheeran added songwriting credits Three writers of TLC’s No Scrubs for their song, Shape of You, after being accused of lifting the melody from a ’90s hit.

The song originally contained a TLC sample that was taken out prior to its release. The basis for the controversy, says Bowsher, was “the recreation of a portion of the song that is slightly similar”. As a result, Sheeran assigned 15% Shape of You’s publication royalties, which are “too high for such a small part of the song,” she says.

The distinction between interpolation and direct sampling is another potential cause for controversy. Interpolation is often used for creative reasons – to reinterpret older releases and to approve historically relevant tracks. Although, there is evidence Record labels in favor of the former because of the need to clear only one set of rights – to avoid sacrificing income – publications rather than those associated with Master Recordings.

A music industry insider with extensive major label experience fucks it up. “The label doesn’t determine anything about what is made in the studio. You can’t tell an artist what songs to sample.”

Ed Sheeran added songwriting credits to his song, Shape of You, for the writers of TLC's No Scrubs, which was accused of raising the melody.
Ed Sheeran added songwriting credits to his song, Shape of You, for the writers of TLC’s No Scrubs, which was accused of raising the melody. Photograph: Hannah McKay / PA

But they acknowledge that artists may be encouraged to interpolate so as to avoid the often lengthy process to clear the rights, which can delay a song’s release date. This is why the UK heat kills, in order to be afraid to be felt by the LF system, project Silk’s I Can’t Stop (Turning You On) instead of directly sampling.

Amber Davies, who works with artists including Stormzy and Dave at publisher Warner Chapel Music, says: “In this current environment, where you want to drop a song next week or you’re doing a freestyle that has a sample, Turnaround time is very pressure sensitive.”

While Davis would like to see more completely original work, it does not appear that the widespread practice of sampling will end anytime soon. In recent years, Investors have bought a wealth of song catalogues Another would expect a major comeback for nine-figure sums from artists including Leonard Cohen and Justin Timberlake. “Songs seeking new life are basing their futures on many of these investments,” says a music industry insider.

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