Date of Award


Author's School

College of Arts & Sciences

Author's Program


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (A.B.)




In recent years, sampling has become an ever-present element in modern music. This paper aims to explore the history and impact of sampling in hip-hop. I will start with a historical focus on hip-hop, exploring the origins of sampling and how it has been popularized within the music industry. I will also explore the broader impact of sampling on modern music, including the legal, monetary, and ethical consequences of the practice. Through an analysis of scholarly perspectives and interviews with music industry professionals, I will examine how the use of sampling has affected music culture, especially in the hip-hop scene. I will also explore the evolution of sampling, focusing on R&B, house, and hip-hop music. Finally, this thesis will delve into the broader cultural significance of sampling in music, examining how sampling has impacted the perception and reception of different genres of music, and how it has influenced how we listen to and appreciate music. Through an analysis of case studies and interviews with key industry figures and experts, I aim to provide a comprehensive understanding of the history and impact of sampling in modern music. Overall, this thesis will draw on the extensive literature on sampling and demonstrate its importance in preserving and promoting black music and culture, and how hip-hop artists can use it to honor and elevate the past while creating new and innovative music.


Patrick Burke

Additional Advisors

Esther Kurtz, Rami Stucky