Watch How Hip-Hop Sampling Evolved Over 50 YearsWatch How Hip-Hop Sampling Evolved Over 50 Years


Watch How Hip-Hop Sampling Evolved Over 50 Years

You can't celebrate hip-hop turning 50, without celebrating hip-hop sampling. Over the course of fifty years, producers perfected the art of sampling and constantly shaped the sound of hip-hop. In a first-of-its-kind video, Tracklib paints a full picture of how each year crate-digging for old records led to groundbreaking new sounds. This Sample Breakdown video takes you from the breaks to the charts, one flip at a time.




August 11, 2023

This month, it's widely celebrated how hip-hop evolved from a lively Back To School Jam at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, to a global force and a multi-billion dollar industry. Sampling played an integral role in that from the get-go: from the very moment DJ Kool Herc used his Merry-Go-Round to extend the "break" section of a record, and when Grandmaster Flash's fingers first touched the wax to pioneer his "quick-mix theory" and further invent and develop turntablism techniques.

When digital samplers were made available a decade later, sampling evolved into a full-fledged art form. To this day, sampling continues to grow and evolve, constantly adapting to new sounds and technologies. As the world's only online record store for sampling—that's exactly the type of unparalleled creativity and skill we praise and honor here at Tracklib.

The Evolution of Hip-Hop: 50 Years of Sampling

About the Sample Breakdown
Tracklib is the online record store for sampling, making sampling and sample clearance available and affordable for all. So naturally we want to celebrate the art of sampling to the fullest. From iconic golden-era classics to today's biggest hits: the Sample Breakdown series visualizes the sampling techniques behind the songs we've all heard and love.

For this massive Hip-Hop 50 edition, the goal was to capture the sounds of different eras. A way to show our love and appreciation for the pioneering sampling work that has been done within hip-hop. Techniques that have created classics, pushed the boundaries of sampling, and influenced all of music.

"This is what actually goes on in my head. This is what I see, hear, and feel."

—9th Wonder's reaction to a Sample Breakdown of his work

50 Records Sampled by Hip-Hop Legends

Fueled by that deep love for sampling, Tracklib was brought to life to make sampling—and sample clearance—available and accessible to any producer. Tracklib demystifies and simplifies the clearance process.

To celebrate 50 years of hip-hop sampling, we put together 50 records previously flipped by hip-hop legends. Songs that you can now sample (and clear) yourself on Tracklib.

These records were previously sampled by the likes of by DJ Premier, Kanye West, Dr Dre, J Dilla, Mike Dean, RZA, Hit-Boy, A Tribe Called Quest, Madlib, Boi-1da, Havoc, Run-DMC, Just Blaze, Swizz Beats, Pete Rock, No I.D., Erick Sermon, 9th Wonder, The Alchemist , El-P, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Large Professor, and more.

More collections on Tracklib:

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