Hip-hop was built on the art of sampling - taking a previously recorded song, and manipulating it into a brand new piece of music. But many artists end up in legal limbo because they didn't get the sample cleared by the artist or publishing company of the original work. A new service named Tracklib aims to help producers and artists get their works approved in an easy, legal way.
Tracklib has been approved by Statik Selektah, Prince Paul, Erick Sermon, Mr. Green, Hank Shocklee, and QuestLove, along with Tommy Boy Records founder Tom Silverman.
The idea seems simple enough: Tracklib has a marketplace of more than 50,000 songs of multiple genres that producers can buy for as low as $1.99. Songs available include the highly-sampled "Impeach the President" by the Honeydrippers, and "The Hook and Sling (Part 1)" by Eddie Bo. After a producer finds a song and creates a new work from it, they can clear the sample for as little as $50.
The service aims to make sampling easy and affordable for producers, helping them create without having to worry about legal issues or having to break their budgets with lawyers and other fees.
"I know Tracklib is going to help, because it'll give everybody an opportunity to sample without having to look over your shoulder," Prince Paul said in a video released by the company. "...[A producer can think] I know whatever this sounds like is what it's going to be, and I can put it out without a problem. That makes a world of difference. You hate to make a song then find out you can't use it."
"To find it and license it all in one place, in a matter of minutes, legally and affordably, to me that's something that can change the whole music business," Silverman said in another video.
Tracklib is already available to some top global producers, but musicians can log onto www.TrackLib.com to request access.