MF Chops, Samples and All That Good Stuff

As most of us already know, a large portion of the music we listen to today has been taken from some previous record or song (i.e. sampled) and revamped into something different. I myself was surprised when I first found out that a lot of my favorite songs that I listened to growing up were just samples someone took and layered some drums over. I make a disclaimer now that my purpose here is not to hate on people who sample for I myself sample as well. Rather, I wish to talk about an artist whom I’ve come to regard as a pioneer in terms of sampling yesterdays music and making it tomorrow’s anthem.

Many people can take a sample, chop it up and add a few kicks and snares but rarely does someone go beyond flipping samples to make an ordinary song into more of a production. Though not an entirely mainstream artist, MF Doom (a.k.a. Doom/ Viktor Vaughn/ King Geedorah) has often implemented small snippets of audio both before and after his track in order to give his songs more of a narrative feel.

Doom has often found these small snippets in anything from old cartoons to movie scenes and even television shows. As he explained in his recent interview while touring in Spain, a lot of the stuff he includes in his tracks come to him from many types of mediums. Certain audio clips that he has used have come to him rather quickly when he was composing the songs but for others, as he explains, he’ll just wait (months if he has to) until he hears exactly what he is looking for.

(Interview With Red Bull – Spain)

Incorporating relevant (or sometimes irrelevant) audio clips into a song gives the track greater depth and allows listeners to better understand exactly what the song is trying to portray. For example in the song titled “Just to make a buck” Doom preludes the track with an audio clip of two characters. In the clip, one of the characters is fed up with his countless failed attempts to make money, while the other character sternly reminds the first “there are all types of ways to make money”. Right after the clip the song begins and to our surprise (or maybe not) the song talks about money and its troubles.

In combining elements that are outside of the norm, Doom has managed to create stories that correlate throughout the entire production. Quite an amazing and unique MC, I am sure he’ll have much to look forward to in the future.


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