Re: [rumori] Dre finally sued

From: Bob Boster (
Date: Mon Nov 04 2002 - 09:35:27 PST

At 18:16 11/02/2002 +0000, Art wrote:

>So, while we need to admonish someone like DJ Quik and
>Dr. Dre for their irresponsible behavior, we must also be
>cognizent of the fact that the reason sampling is such a
>popular form of musical creation by Black people, especially
>those in the United States, is the result of the destruction
>and fragmentation of our histories, cultures, and identities
>as a result of a 500 year genocidal assault by White Supremacy,
>Capitalism, and Imperialism. Sampling is something we've had
>to do in order to survive once stripped of all else. The
>issue goes way beyond just music. We had to create something
>from nothing. Music is just the way that non-Blacks tend to
>see it most easily manifest itself.

bb> To build on this incisive statement, I think it's worth pointing out
that the struggle here is legal/economic, not aesthetic. A key aspect of
the Truth Hurts thing is that the artist is popular in India and the
'sample' is popular in US. There would be no event here if it wasn't for
the money. The aesthetic conflict has been won in this instance (and have
ALWAYS been won as far as I can tell - whether it be the popular acceptance
of swing, rock and roll, pop r&b, disco, or even Wynton's blandification of
be-bop) by the 'subjegated' culture's vision and voice. The issue is that
the LAW can't be stretched to cope with these aesthetic needs, and the
reason for it is that big money doesn't want to let it stretch. Of course,
no one makes the 'your law is out of touch with race and culture' argument
because some of the biggest winners for doing things the way they have been
done are people like James Brown and Rick James, but that's just more of
the pushing pudding uphill process we've been going through.

Thanks for chiming in with this Art. It's nice to see this point raised in
this context. I often feel strange when I'm put in a position where I'm
discussing my artistic position and I reference the long history of
African-American vernacular forms that influence my perspective on creative
re-use of culture. I generally start off with the griot tradition, bring
up the dozens, talk about the evolutionary nature of 'composition' in blues
practice, and then come to versioning, toasting, and DJ Cool Herc - from
there it's a short jump to the Bomb Squad and Christian Marclay/John
Oswald. (Sometimes I have to leaven this with discussions of Picasso and
Rauschenberg too, but only if I'm getting nowhere.)

Generally people look at me like I've grown a third head (because I am
apparently 'white' in the visual world), but even more so, because no one
EVER brings these points up in that venue (discussing electronic
media/music). They do in visual art and film, but never music. And the
other reason is that my work isn't necessarily rhythmic, hence how can it
be associated with these issues if it doesn't derive from a break
beat? I've been through this a lot and often wonder if other people even
bring this stuff up, or even know about it. The only one I can think of is
Hank Shocklee...but even he seems less interested in laying it all out,
probably because he feels he doesn't need to justify anything to anyone. I
guess Paul Miller covers this turf too, but he takes it into more layers of
theory than it needs, so it ends up being just more oblique discussion.

Anyway, interesting thread....

On a somewhat related note, I heard that Jam Master Jay charted in the UK
this weekend. Nice homage. Wonder what the track was.


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