Music sampling is the act of taking a portion of a song, beat, riff, etc. and reusing it in a different song.

It can be pretty complex taking, say, a 3-second sample from a song and then reworking it to sound like something new, but it’s in fact still somebody else’s work.

Sampling used to be a free for all, especially in early hip hop that is, until the original artists who were sampled started to take notice of the money other artists were making using their work.

Nowadays, you have to legally clear it and pay up if you use somebody else’s work.

Some of your favorite songs have been inspired by samples over the years like Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby,” Notorious B.I.G.’s “Big Poppa,” or Puff Daddy’s “I’ll Be Missing You,” which used a sample from The Police’s “Every Breath You Take.”

Funny story about that sample Puffy used on “I’ll Be Missing You.” It was created by Police guitarist Andy Summers, but it was Sting who went after Puffy for the royalties and he receives $2000 a day for its use…crazy!

We’ve talked about sampling before in the Viral Video of the Day and today a very well-done video, “A Brief History of Sampling,” takes us on a ride worth watching.

Stick around for a few more of Surfer Stephen’s favorite viral videos below:


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