This trend of casually using someone else's hook to make a hit song is fast approaching its sell-by date. It has already run out of cleverness, and now just seems to be cultivating an attitude of extreme laziness within the hip-hop world. How is it meaningful, bold, raw, to have some laydeez sing a famous chorus, framed by a series of grunts and hoohaaas with some hastily constructed raps for verses? It's watered down hip-hop, diluted attitude. It's the musical equivalent of chewing it up and regurgitating it as a pile of pre-dissolved food for the lame public to easily digest.
And they do: the public buys this slop and spreads it all around and encourages these musical cheats to do it again and again. I'm not talking about sampling; that's something that can still have some social relevance, e.g. the sample of the Foreigner song used by Warriorz. That ended up being pretty funny, with that dirty bassline and slightly sped up vocals squeaking over the top. It's the people like Puff Daddy (or P. Diddy, or Poop Waddy or whatever he's called) and Biggy Smalls, who blatantly lift the choruses from other people's carefully crafted, brilliant songs, and make a big fat load of money off them. I will make the claim that every single hip-hop and rap album includes at least one example of a Stevie Wonder rip-off, such as The Fugees --> Songs in the Key of Life. If anyone can present me with a completely original album from said genres, I'll post you a cookie straight away.
So please: let's see what we can do to discourage these musical marauders, gypsy thieves. Buy original, scorn the regurgitated.
Hey everybody--I have to add this little note. I got a little carried away with my rash claims, and I want to let everyone know that I don't really think that all hip-hop and rap is unoriginal crap. I think there's plenty of good art and music that comes out of those genres... but very little of the artistic stuff gets on the radio. I was ranting against popular music, rather than berating a real, thriving and beautiful art. My hometown (Minneapolis) has a great resource for hip-hop--based out of a record store called "Fifth Element." For more information see: http://www.rhymesayers.com