Sampling has easily become a staple within the hip-hop world and for Fabolous, who’s been in the game for nearly twenty years, it just might be the only thing slowing his career down.
There’s no denying the internet has allowed hip-hop to spread globally but it has also made it surprisingly difficult for producers and rappers to freely craft their projects.
“It’s getting harder to clear samples,” said Fabolous, speaking to Bay Area radio station 106 KMEL. “You would think as technology and music and hip-hop is growing as a brand or as a music genre, you would think samples would be easier to clear but it’s getting harder.”
Some of Fab’s more popular projects are the Soultape mixtape series, which was actually created with sampling in mind, because he felt hip-hop was lacking in that department.
“What’s crazy about the Soultapes is those is all samples,” said Loso.
“Why it was dope too because that’s another time I felt like the game was very trapped, so I felt like a lot of artists weren’t even taking that lane to go sample because they felt like they’d get played less or it wouldn’t be as successful because everything was more uptempo and it was about being in a club.”
With sample clearances becoming harder to obtain, the Brooklyn rapper believes it’s only hurting the hip-hop culture since it’s stopping a new generation from hearing songs they’d otherwise never had known existed (i.e. a sample of a soul record from the ‘60s/’70s would put a teenager today onto a track that was made before they were conceived).
Fabolous states it would be hard for a younger person today to know of old tracks if he himself doesn’t even know about the track; sampling in his eyes is for the greater good of music and not necessarily a detriment for the artists who’s songs are sampled.
“As we sample the songs and make it go further it takes your music further too,” he said. “People sometimes go back and say ‘yo where did this come from?’…It’s just us also at the same time trying to pay homage, trying to continue the legacy of music and keep it going through different generations as well, so I want them to keep that in mind; we not just trying to rip they song [off].”
Making a valid point, the veteran MC believes stifling samples will only bring the growth of music to a screeching halt.
“Your music can be what it was, it was a great song that’s why we want to sample it as well, but at the same time it stays only in that place.”
The full interview can be seen below and in it he discusses his upcoming project with Jadakiss and how sample clearances are delaying its release, his longevity in the rap game, what non-rap acts he listens to today and his DJ Clue assisted Friday Freestyle series among other things.