Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Sean Puff P. Diddy Daddy Combs

A post from Eve's Apple about Mr. Combs changing his name yet again triggered a thought about his two big hits, Come With Me and I'll Be Missing You. These two songs are essentially him singing over someone else's tune, namely Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" and The Police's "Every Breath You Take". This is of course beyond lame, but I think that Steve Albini of Shellac and Big Black fame put it best when talking to Punk Planet about sampling:

I don't have a lot of respect for records that are made out of other people's records. It seems like a trivial task. I don't find it enlightening. The key to me is that when I hear a piece of music that's made of samples of other people's records, the bit that you like about it is not the fact that it has been assembled in this new thing, the bit that you like is remembering this other song that they've stolen: "Oh yeah, that's that Creedence Clearwater song. I like that song. Therefore I like this thing."

Mr. Albini goes on:

I made an analogy at one point that it's sort of like taking whole pages out of somebody else's book and re-stapling them into your cover and calling it your book.

So, Mr. Combs, you can call yourself anything you want, you're still no Jimmy Page or Police-era Sting.

Beat it.

4 comments:

Aaron Tieger said...

I think Albini has a point but I also think he's being narrow-minded. I don't think we necessarily evaluate the effectiveness of samples based on our opinion of the source. I like "Every Breath You Take" but I hate that stupid song that samples it. & when I listen to the Kleptones' A Night At The Hip-Hopera my brain is turned inside out at the magnitude of newness.

The sign of a good sample is that it doesn't rely on its previous life for its enjoyment value, and Albini - though he is generally the voice of righteousness - doesn't seem to accept that as possible.

Pain said...

Aaron:
Agreed. I think there plenty of wonderful examples of subtle, smart samples that do become part of the bigger soundscape of the song without simply giving you a recognizable hook or beat. Bands like Massive Attack/Tricky, Public Enemy, Portishead and countless others are great examples of that school of thought. So, in that sense, yes, Albini is too intransigent, but I think his broad point unfortunately apllies to many, many artists, and is totally appropriate. Sean Combs is not even a good collage artist like Kanye West and some other good rap artists. He's merely a mediocre kereoke amateur.

Aaron Tieger said...

Agreed.
Have you heard that Kleptones? Amazing!

http://kleptones.com/pages/downloads_hiphopera.html

Aaron Tieger said...

Agreed.
Have you heard that Kleptones? Amazing!

http://kleptones.com/pages/downloads_hiphopera.html