Do’s and Dont’s Of Sampled Beats

By on June 17, 2013

Why should you care about sampling?

If you don’t understand this, you can say bye bye to that dream car and that dream house because not knowing shit about sampling can cause you to lose thousands, maybe even millions of dollars, from lawsuits.

First of all, before I get into it, I just want to make sure I make it clear that I am NOT a lawyer, and you should consult with a lawyer/attorney for advice regarding sample usage. This is just my take from my own experiences and studying the industry.

So let’s get into it…What’s the big deal about sampled beats anyway?

    – Some of the most epic songs in rap history have been sampled.
    – Samples create a vibe that most producer’s can’t create from scratch.

The problem is that, sampled beats might sound real good, but apparently not everyone is ok with you using their songs, so they get the lawyers involved.

So how do you know if there’s samples in your beat?

This is pretty simple, if you hear voices in the background in the beat, there’s a good chance yo ish is sampled. But the best way is to just contact the producer and ask them, they usually have no problem telling you.

Just in case you already got some sampled beats in yo possession, I went ahead and created a quick guide so you know when you should and shouldn’t use sampled beats for your album or mixtape.

When to use sampled beats:

If the sample is so sick that it will give you a return on your investment and it will pay for the sample clearance fees/or the royalty cuts in your share of the song revenue.

In simple terms, if the sample makes the song so incredibly stupid sick that there’s no way on god’s green earth that you can take that sample out, AND it’s gonna bring in more money than you spent on it…then go for it!

If realistically, you plan on selling 10,000 copies or less of your song and not really getting much exposure of the song, then you don’t really have to worry because there’s not much money to be made there and the lawyers won’t be harassing you anytime soon.

When to not use sampled beats:

If it’s not a vocal sample, then you should find a way to get the producer to replay the sample with their own instruments.
If you have major push and If it’s just gonna increase sales of the single itself but it’s not sick enough to make people want to check out the rest of the album.
When the song is average and most likely not better than anything that’s out at the time
When you have the systems in place to sell hundreds of thousands of copies of your songs, albums, and you want to keep all your royalties.

The Big Fat Myth:

Now there’s a myth going around that if you have a non-profit mixtape that you can use sampled beats as much as you want because your not making money off of it. But this is not true, as long as the artist you sampled can tie your mixtape to directly putting money in your pocket, they are entitled to some moola.

Now if it were up to me and people didn’t get so butthurt about sampling, I would make every beat or every other beat have samples in it. But there is a solution…

The Solution

Some producers (including myself) have found a way around this little sampling headache and created the in between zone for getting that sound and not paying for samples. This is when a producer creates their own music to sample and then gives it the same epic sound, with no cost for sample clearance, royalty cuts.

Here’s What To Do Next:

What I need you to do next is just leave a comment in the box and type in 2 things.

    1. Type out what you learned in this post.
    2. Tell me what you want me to cover in the next post.


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