Redman Says Lack Of Sampling Hurt Hip Hop, Praises Cypress Hill

Exclusive: Looking at "Time 4 Sum Aksion" vs. "How I Could Just Kill A Man" and "Da Rockwilder" vs. "Hand On The Pump," Red has a lot to say about his homies from the west, and on trends in Hip Hop.

Last month, HipHopDX interviewed Redman in Def Jam Records' New York offices. The veteran Newark, New Jersey emcee/producer spoke about the decline of sampling and deejay-minded music. Redman, who came into the industry as a deejay for Lords of the Underground's DoItAll, has made some of his biggest hits off of records, connected to other classics. Red's 1993 hit single "Time 4 Sum Aksion" pulled a chorus from Cypress Hill's hit from two years earlier, "How I Could Just Kill A Man." With numerous 1990s singles pulling from each other, such as Blahzay Blahzay's "Danger" taking from Jeru The Damaja's "Come Clean," or Jay-Z's "Dead Presidents" borrowing from Nas' "The World Is Yours," Redman spoke about the importance of inter-related records.

"I added that to my show. Cypress Hill's ['How I Could Just Kill A Man'] into ['Time 4 Sum Aksion']," Red said, after being asked about his catalog connection to Cypress Hill. Still a deejay hobbyist, Redman then spoke about the decline of that in Hip Hop. "That ended because we got more viral. We got more media coverage on this whole Hip Hop game now. Samples caused a major problem. Back in the day, you could snatch a record, snatch it right quick, and you ain't have to clear shit. Now, you gotta clear every-fucking thing."

Samples have affected Redman's music-making, which is evident in Red straying from the craft on his recently-released Redman Presents...Reggie. Looking at his 2009 release, the Def Squad emcee said, "For example, on the Red & Meth album, Blackout! 2, I had to take out something I said that related to a verse on another artist's album. I [interpolated] something Snoop [Dogg] said on [Doggystyle], and I had to send [the album] in. The sample clearance [service] told me I had to take it out 'cause [Snoop] didn't own that publishing to that album. It goes so deep." The emcee expressed his displeasure with the politics of the contemporary Rap industry. "It's so fucking anal, this Rap game. But you gotta deal with it."

In September, B-Real told HipHopDX that Redman's bandmate, Erick Sermon (and PMD) had a lot to do with Cypress Hill's acceptance in the east coast. "When I started meeting all these other rappers that I respected, the first thing that they would say was, 'Oh, I heard y’all shit through EPMD. They played it for us and we were bugging out.' Ice Cube told me that, Busta Rhymes told me that, [DJ] Premier, the list goes on of the motherfuckers that were put on to us by EPMD," said B-Real.

Interestingly enough, Redman paused to acknowledge Cypress Hill for his own successes. "I wanna thank B-Real from Cypress Hill. He played a major part in my career, as far as the 'Time 4 Sum Aksion' sample and shit. Then, [B-Real gave me] the 'La, La, La' on 'Da Rockwilder.'" Red is referring to the chorus from Cypress' "Hand On The Pump" that he and Method Man re-introduced years later on their trademark anthem.

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  • Bryant Carter

    a friend who was hit by a drunk driver and is now in a coma. Before I say anything else I do ask that you pray for her recovery. I was recently interviewed by a west coast magazine, and just had the interview published to the mag site. If I get enough FB likes my interview will go into the actual magazine. The link is I just ask that you take a look, and press like for me. I made it an honest interview so I'm sure that you will like it. Also feel free to view my youtube link @


    fuck that all bullshit get real yall dropin wack shit.i got those other red albums but the new one hell no fuck that. dat malpractice one dat was nice.this other niggas sellin they makin good music.go to the studio rap about what comes out u heart.n stop listen to the labels cause i bet they tell u what to rap but. n yall niggas is like 50 years hang it up n open bussiness or somethin. or get some new talent. blamin samplin fuck outter here red

  • yo

    give kanye the props he deserves...dude's been samplin since day one

  • wishworks

    you can still sample just get them cleared, just ask kanye (who i think is the dj premier of this day in time) man's got gold finger tips can't hate that he also created a bridge between what was in what now is

  • Yssup Kidz

    Musicians that got sampled but never got paid disagrees with Red. Me, i miss those days. Sampling is a craft. Unfortunately, its becoming a lost art.

  • Ray

    Does anybody know the song that's sampled on the reggie intro?.....DOES ANYBODY KNOW! if so please contact me...very urgent

    • ACE

      the sample is stakes is high by de la sol dude

    • Ryan

      Thank you problemz so much...i could kiss you if i was there ( ABSOLUTELY NO HOMO)...but this is the song i used to look for when i heard it once as a child and didn't know the name but i knew what it sounded like and didnt know where it came from OMG im gonna play this song all damn day....its the De La Soul i would cop this whole album for this song 5 times i swear

    • problemz/problema

      Swahililand - Ahmad Jamal la soul also used it for stakes is comes in at maybe 1:45 in the song...

  • TheOriginalGregSTL

    yeah dude, these over-synth beats has been getting on my nerves for the last 10 YEARS! If sampling didnt cost as much to clear like back in the 90's, rap music would be just as dope now as it was then. I always believed wasn't shit wrong with the rappers/lyricists, it's just these faggot-ass beats thats turning me off (sigh). We're just gonna have to work with what we got. Keep tha faith, hip-hoppers. It's gonna come back in a major way!


    Redman produced these 2 tracks himself- Creepin' from Muddy Waters (which was the best track on there) and The Game from Jamal's Last Chance No Breaks the best track on that cd. Dude got some skill...

  • Nico 3

    If Redman had shelled out the money, then he would have got the sample. The clearance process is good because it forces them to be more creative and honest with what they're actually calling their own.

    • ha

      I don't work in the industry... but I haven't made a beat in my life? YOU shut the fuck up. You don't even know me.

    • Controverse

      you've never made a beat in your life and you don't work in the music business. please shut the fuck up

    • ha

      I agree that you can't really call a looped sample your own. The thing is you have to look at it from a historical perspective. Hip Hop came from, basically, looping the same 2 breakbeats on turntables to make a continuous beat. It's definitely true that it has forced producers to be more creative. I can't hate on loops though. If it's hot, it's hot. I think it's kind of sad that hiphop producers have to worry about copyrights. Even if it's chopped and barely noticeable. If anybody realizes where that came from, you will probably be going to court.

  • Anonymous

    Hip Hop without samples still doesnt even sound right to me Think about it, Almost every classic song from the 80's through the late 90's had a sample built into it..... I dont care If Swizz Beat programs those Rinky dink beats all by himself or not, nobody is gonna look back at anything he's done 15 years from now and say "Damn, That shit was classic" Quincey Jones Never sampled either, but thats because he used a team of real musicians........ If your not gonna sample, fair enough, but at least higher some musicians that can play You some dope original shit Most these dudes on some "I can save the money and just make the beat on my fruity loops machine" and thats basically why a majority of the shit sucks now

    • Onaje Douglas

      Amen brother

    • Anonymous

      Most of the hip pop producers these days dont play their own notes. They load up a hot sound and adjust the arpegiattor and let the keyboard do the work for em. The ruff ryders anthem melody was even a preset trumpet song on the korg triton. Swizz got sued for stealing that back then too. Sampling is cool if you do it right...I wouldnt call what Diddy does sampling at all and I think hes the main reason why its hard to clear any kind of samples these days.

  • EPhraZe

    I'm going to have to agree and disagree with REd on the sampling topic. Yes there are sTILL millions of records to sample/resample from, but I would only sample if it enhances the beat. On the other hand it had made producers accountable and made producers more well-rounded. Nobody is going to buy a Kanye beat for $50 g's, or a Timbo beat for 200g's, because that may be an artists entire production budget. It'll be soon that artist are going to have to stand on their own merits. No more half album of features. And I'm not against sampling, I love sampling, but it has helped producers from raping artists, and has been proven that you don't need a bunch of "A" name producers to make a hit.

    • ha

      I don't really think it's raping artists even if the sample is looped. It really depends on how obscure the record is. If you found a gem, then you found a gem, straight up. Nobody else found that shit or thought to use it. My problem is when people sample something that's been sampled and is a classic. Whatever though, that's why your chopping game gotta be up these days.


    You know, now that i think of it, the 1st Blackout! album borrowed alot of shit!

  • Project

    Big up to Redman...much respect

  • Wu-Tang Forever

    Couldn't agree more with Red here

  • Rick

    and you can blame Swiz cheese for all these corney fisher price beats...He fucked up Hip Hop..put the word out hahaha! Well it all started with Biz but producers still knew how to work around it....

  • manaboutit

    Cats want those mechanical royalty rates and are too afraid of losing all their publishing if a really anal original artist comes after them. So they just don't bother. This is also how the DJ as an instrument was lost from the songs. No longer necessary if there's no other record to draw from.

  • Charles ExSavior

    Peeps like Redman at least showed love and respect to Cypress Hill whenever he sampled others, that's how it should always be. But nowadays people will steal anything and not even think about paying homage, they just want that fast buck to fulfill their contracts.

  • the truth

    I been saying this for the longest i love hi hats tick tick and the bass but damn put a lil sample with that shit son damn last night my uncle told me redman was one of the reallest rappers he's heard i told him damn right since time 4 sum akshun

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