Hip-hop began with one DJ deciding to be bold enough to find what he felt was the best small chunk of a song he liked and (at that time, manually) repeat it over and over, and I will always be grateful to Kool Herc for this monumental discovery. He singlehandedly brought the loop as a musical device into pop music and things have never been the same. I’m a fan of people using loops in all kinds of music from its beginnings in experimental music to its modern-day prevalence, but no musical style other than hip-hop can claim that it is fundamentally founded on the idea of the sampled loop, and the power that that technique holds.
That’s why I’ve always loved songs like this that have that perfectly, expertly, geniusly chosen few seconds of music put on loop that never gets old, never loses its effectiveness, and in fact benefits from its constant repetition. You get to really make friends with that few seconds of music as you listen, and it becomes wonderfully familiar to you over time, if you’re open to it.
2Pac – Where Do We Go From Here?
Then when you get to listen to the song it’s sampled from, it’s like you get to meet the whole family of that new friend you made in that loop from the hip-hop song. You see the music that gives rise to that loop, and what music inevitably follows afterward. It deepens your love and understanding for that loop, and you’re predisposed to love the entire song from which it came, much like the seemingly normal family of a close friend can take on an inexplicable endearing quality because or their relationship to your close companion. I think it actually makes less sense to say that the sampled song is like the parent or progenitor of the sampling song, the loop in the hip-hop song is the music it was taken from, but removed from context and subject to extensive repetition, much like meeting a friend usually takes place out of context from their full familial lineage, and through repetition of interactions with that friend, your bond strengthens, and when you are introduced to those people who have made it possible for that friend to exist, and who that friend has had a contributing role in causing existence, you begin to understand why that friend has his or her unique characteristics, and you gain a deeper appreciation for not only you friend’s unique qualities, but the unique qualities of the people that surround him/her.
So on that note, here’s this song that came into my world today, as welcome as the family of my best friend.
Bootsy Collins – May The Force Be With You