Long before the Today Show, Richard Wilkins brought MTV to Australia as a program on Channel 9. This video from around 1988 is as charming as it is naive. It's the early days of electronic music when sampling was considered theft. Beastie Boys, Ice T, Fresh Prince -- sorry, Will Smith -- Jazzy Jeff, Cold Cut, De La Soul and even Debbie Gibson try and get to the bottom of the question "is sampling art or stealing?"
It's interesting to see the reaction of some music industry insiders, who appear upset by the idea (and confused by the concept) that another artist could use part of their song to create a new one. Two decades later, and their minds would be blown by file sharing. I bet stealing a riff doesn't seem as bad now, right? [KevinIntensity]
Sampling has come a long way in complexity, and so has the appreciation of it. Think about DJ Shadow, RJD2, even the Prodigy. Speaking of which, if you know someone who thinks sampling takes zero talent -- show them the video below. Watch just how many sources The Prodigy creatively use to create tracks. Amazing stuff: