Pete Rock’s Approach to Sample Chopping

Hip-Hop has changed. Like everything in music, it evolves. From the roots of boom bap, it flourished from the jagged cracks of underground culture. Hidden under the umbrella of hip-hop’s influence on mainstream lifestyle, there lies chips and fragments of fractured break beats, record scratches, and enough low end to rattle the kneecaps of  countless generations.Purists love lifting chins over their shoulders and sending a solemn nod to Grand Master Flash, Cool Herc, and Africa BoomBaata. The tide has changed, but their influence is still ingrained between the smallest crevices of pop culture. The offspring of hit records are trophies from a movement our current generation can only dream about in old tomes and word-of-mouth.

Pete Rock is one of my most favorite producers who paved the way for myself and countless others. The “pad-pushing principles” has helped turn sampling into an accepted industry standard. It’s a workflow that laid the foundation for some of the biggest hits in the game.

Texture

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As a Hip-Hop producer, I strive for one thing only – good texture. That’s it. When I listen to the beatmakers of yore, the texture always stands out compared to any other detail. the reason behind it all depends on sample choice. It’s more important than people realize. The drums have to match the texture of the sample for a track to be believable. That’s just my own taste speaking. 

If listening to Pete Rock has taught me anything, it’s that texture is directly associated with effective drum layering and mixing. Mismatched samples taste like vanilla sprinkles on pepperoni pizza. Have you ever paired a kick with the wrong snare? It sounds like whipped cream on a low-fat saltine cracker. Texture is everything.

Listen to a quick taste of “Glowing” produced by Pete Rock.

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