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Music Sampling, Copyright Law, & Morality


Here is my senior essay, marking the completion of my bachelor's degree in the Ethics, Politics, & Ethics program at Yale. It deals with digital music sampling, copyright law, and political philosophy.

Click here to read: "Why Reforming the Legal Environment Surrounding Sample-Based Music Has Not Happened: A Case Study in Applications of the Workmanship Ideal."

Abstract: Since its rise to prominence among hip hop producers thirty years ago, digital music sampling has become a popular method of music production for musicians across multiple genres. Yet case law, copyright laws, and standard music industry practices have produced a legal environment that discourages the creation of sample-based music. Artists who sample must either confront myriad obstacles inherent in obtaining permission to use samples or release unlicensed sample-based works that risk engendering expensive copyright infringement lawsuits. This has brought forth a multidecadal body of scholarship replete with various solutions to the sampler’s dilemma. But after twenty-five years of work highlighting the problems inherent in the legal environment surrounding sampling and the development of comprehensive solutions to address them, the dilemma remains. This paper seeks to explain why such reform has not happened and imagine what would be required to achieve it.


Stevie J & Snoop Dogg "DNA" (Produced by Soleternity) from the VH1 Love & Hip Hop Compilation


Give a listen to Def Jam's Vh1 Love and Hip Hop (Music From the Series) compilation album. It contains a track I produced for Stevie J & Snoop Dogg called "DNA."

Check out Stevie J and Snoop recording the track!

I first played this beat at the iStandard Producer Showcase (Chicago edition) in fall of 2010! Watch it here.

Huge thanks to Rhythm J for getting my track to Stevie J & Snoop.


Wrekonize "One Too Many" Remix EP


Wrekonize just released a 6-track EP containing 6 different remixes of his track "One Too Many." I'm happy to have been one of the six producers tapped for the project. Check it out.



Soleternity - Beats 4 Yeti Snowman

My new 9 track instrumental EP is available for free download. Dedicated to my great longtime friend Yeti Snowman.



4 New Beats: "Winner Take All," "Marketplace of Ideas," "Shibboleth," and "Structuration"

Winner Take All is my mellowed-out contribution to a "Producer Challenge" going on at The Producers Union. We were limited to using a specific sample and drum kit. Here's what I came up with.

Marketplace of Ideas slowly bounces along at a hip hop tempo while mixing elements of R&B and electronic music. It's an odd mesh of these styles, to be sure.

Shibboleth starts with an ominous pound and morphs into a lighter, carribean-sounding chorus section.

Structuration sort of floats around the audio spectrium in an open, airy, staticy, and soulful fashion. The drums beat, though.

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