I've often wondered about this. I always just assumed that guys got away with this stuff on mixtapes because they were distributed for free. I also wonder how this applies to cut-up DJs who distribute mixes for free, since I don't see much difference ethically in what Mac Miller did in this case versus what any number of DJs do on a regular basis.
I disagree with the idea, though, that avoiding samples altogether will improve the quality of the beats. You'll just get more emcees rapping over stuff that sounds like computer game music. Bottom line is that labels need to get off their wallets and support their artists by clearing this stuff, no matter how it is distributed.
This post is excellent. I think about this stuff all the time intensely whilst trying to figure out the best way to curate stuff in my music collection. I only recently discovered the power of the "Album Artist" field in iTunes, which cleans up a lot of the sequencing issues with hip-hop album "Artist" data fields. Technology is weird.
Stop having babies
I gotta check out this "Steel Defense" track...
The most life-affirming event I have been to in a long time. Billy Nardozzi is Pittsburgh's poet laureate. Thanks Andy!
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