Listening to “Otis” by Jay-Z and Kanye West had me thinking that today’s music can serve as a unique marketing tool for yesterday’s chart toppers. When I heard this song for the first time I quickly Googled Otis Redding and began listening to his greatest hits which reminded me why he’s one of the great male vocals. Other than “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” I didn’t hear much of Otis Redding’s music (Which I should be ashamed of being a Macon, GA native myself).
Some older individuals think that hip hop artists “mess up” original songs by sampling them for a good chorus or background sound. Just because their life is no longer here doesn’t mean the music had to die as well. But is sampling really that bad when newer artists are selling good music as well as exposing younger generations to great artists who are no longer with us? That question could be answered and many different ways depending on what song has been sampled and how it was executed.
If I had a great song that was relevant after I was long gone I would want my estate to jump on that marketing opportunity and release another greatest hits album with the song that was sampled as a featured hit. The release would push the exposure of my past hits to the young listeners and help stimulate a love for what the Baby Boomers Generation likes to call “good music” since, in their eyes, we don’t know anything about that today. This would also keep the cycle of great music relevant.
However some songs should go untouched because past artists sung those songs a certain way and they cannot be re-created to that same level of greatness no matter how much you remix, sample, or chop & screw it. For example, Purple Rain would need to be left alone. A song like that is timeless within itself. What oldies would you love to hear sampled by one of our top Hip Hop and/or R & B artists of today?