Amanda Sewell deposited The Sampling Network of Public Enemy’s “Bring the Noise” on Humanities Commons 5 years, 9 months ago
Since its release in 1987, Public Enemy’s “Bring the Noise” has been sampled over one hundred times by more than sixty different hip-hop artists. The resulting tangle of artists, producers, sampled material, and sampling techniques from the past twenty-five years creates a complex network of sampling practices and traditions surrounding “Bring the Noise.” These sampling practices include producers sampling the same select phrases over and over, certain producers sampling each other repeatedly, and producers’ preference for placing specific samples into new tracks in specific ways. Through twenty-five years of samples, “Bring the Noise” begins to take on a life and a history richer than just the track itself. Although sampling fell off in frequency after 1991, both the specific passages producers sampled and the ways producers added that sampled material to new tracks has remained relatively consistent over the last twenty-five years. In this paper, I focus on one specific aspect of “Bring the Noise” and its sampling network, namely, the few phrases of text that producers chose to sample over and over.