I'm no spokesman for the hip hop tradition, but it seems to me it's all about lucky collisions and the search for that magic `chocolate in the peanut butter' combination. Sometimes chance encounter is your friend. I started working with DJ's when they needed a guitar slinger. Some days all they asked me for was two bars of a swampy Tony Joe White-inspired riff. Out of these jams strange gifts came along.

In one form or another, sampling has been around forever. There's a blues tradition that's been doing it for hundreds of years. I've always believed it's not what you throw in the pot but what floats to the top after you bring it to a boil. In the past I might have thrown out the bone that sank to the bottom. That bone was the sample, and it stayed in.

There's something in OC's (the singer sampled) voice that tells me he's been there, seen it, and brought back the news about a generation on the front lines of a lot of needless bloodshed. There are very few bad seeds. People aren't born monsters, they get turned into them. Lot of kids never get one chance. Hell, I had too many to mention.

You learn something everyday if you're half awake. I never knew I would get such an education in sampling and litigation and all that other fun stuff, but that's another story.

February 28, 2005 COMMENTS • Filed under Interviews