Rapid Fire Facts to Know: The history of sampling

SKRILLEX - Bangarang feat. Sirah [Official Music Video]
SKRILLEX - Bangarang feat. Sirah [Official Music Video] / Skrillex

While the art of sampling has become synonymous in hip hop, you might be shocked to know that the first song to ever contain a sample did not come from a rap record. In fact, rap music wasn't even established yet during that time.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the first sample-based song was John Kongos' He's Gonna Step on You Again in 1971.

That said, this historic fact is highly debatable, as some historians proclaim the art of sampling itself can be traced back as far as the 1940s with the work of Pierre Schaeffer.

Alas, If you're looking to find the most sampled song in the world; finding that out is next to near impossible. As a consolation, the drum break to Amen, Brother by The Winstons is widely regarded as one of the most re-used compositions in music history.

It goes without saying that sampling music has its plus side. For one, it allows the producers/writers to recreate a nostalgic tune and breathe new life into it or pay homage to a childhood hero. On the flip side, there are some cons as well, as sampling the right way can cost you a pretty penny. Moreover, if there's a discrepancy, there's a good chance the sampler will be getting sued.

... And then, there are those occasions when things get settled without all the bad blood.

One historic example of this is the case of Rapper's Delight by the Sugarhill Gang. The song contains an interpolation of Chic's Good Times and the band initially planned to sue Sugarhill for their use of Good Time's bassline.

Fourtunatly, cooler heads prevailed. Chic was given credit and Nile Rodgers went as far as saying that Rapper's Delight is one of his favorite songs of all time.

Sampling has taken many forms over the years and furthermore, it's been incorporated in a multitude of genres. That said, it's only natural that each producer has his/her own approach and some takes on the craft can be a lot more unique than others.

Take dubstep mastermind, Skrillex for example. Besides being known for being influential in bringing EDM to mainstream prominence in the early 2010s, he's also known for having several of his many vocal samples.

Where will the art of sampling go next? Only time will tell. In the meantime, check out a compilation of Skrillex samples below, and feel free to be astonished.