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NYC drill rap is a unique music genre that has managed to last longer than anyone anticipated. Inspired by the Chicago drill movement, New York City has managed to make the movement our own, birthing some of the biggest stars the industry has ever seen. Still, music critics and nay sayers claim drill is inaudible, chaotic and lacks creativity. And then came the sample wave.

While samples have been incorporated in Hip Hop for ages, it took a minute to make its way onto the drill scene. Sampling is essentially when you include an element of a pre-existing recording by someone else in your track. The sample can be anything that you've 'sampled' from another track; a rhythm, a melody, a beat, vocals or speech, which you then manipulate, edit, chop up or loop to fit creatively in the record. And Queens rapper Shawny Bin Laden and producer Cash Cobain were the first to do just that. Together, the two have created some of the first and greatest sample drill records we’ve ever heard. Shawny’s mixtape “Merry Wickmas” really put in perspective just the amount of creativity brewing in the NY drill scene. With smash hits like “Whole Lotta Wickery” featuring Bizzy Banks, “Yellow Tears” and more, it was clear that sampling in Drill was the sauce that we desperately needed. Cash Cobain, the super producer behind many of Shawny's early drill tracks, recently linked up with Bronx breakout star to create "My Everything". The reworking of Mary J. Blige's 1997 hit single "Everything", was brillant and did extremely well on Tik Tok which launched a viral dance challenge. Fans and celebrities like Skai Jackson, Coi Leray, DreamDoll and even mega influencers like Jayda Cheaves and Ari Fletcher were all seen joining the challenge thus adding to the virality of the record.

While sampling is great, seeing younger artists dip into the archives to create new records, there are. few red flags. Many sample drill records sound repetitive mainly because a lot of producers use the same drum patterns. Also, the act of sampling itelf is getting oversaturated with many artists not even knowing where the orginial sounds are coming for. Instead of sampling being a learning tool for younger artists, many treat it as a "get lit quick" scheme and try to follow a trend without educating themselves. The biggest red flag of all is not clearing the samples, which can result in the song/video being removed from the platform. The process of clearing a sample is a long and expensive one which is why most artists just take the risk of releasing their sampled song anyway. These issues may be the reason we see a decline in sampled songs in underground drill scene. While major labels have the money and network to get many samples cleared, there are still OG artists that don't want their songs touched. Even Kanye West, a sample God, had this issue early on in his career. His single "All Falls Down" is orginally sampled from Lauryn Hill's Mystery of Iniquity. Because he had to get it cleared before the release of his album and couldn't, he had Syleena Johnson sing it over instead. Hopefully, because of the success of alot of new drill records, main artists loosen the reigns and begin clearing these tracks and simply taking a small percentage of sales.

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