Girl Talk – The Night Ripper

Just so you know, I hate sampling laws.

I’m not saying I believe the artists samples shouldn’t get paid, but far too many are simply afraid that they will lose control of their music.  I remember reading a post by DJ Z-Trip where he detailed his attempts at clearing some samples to put on his new record.  He offered the original artists all the royalties from the song just so he could use a piece and was refused, much to his mounting frustration.  Others have tried the same thing and failed many time over the years.  One artist whose work was remixed by Fatboy Slim coldly declared that “all he does is steal bits of records he finds at garage sales.”

This is true.  He does.

But how many of the general public would even be familiar with some obscure original work, if not for someone bringing it to the limelight and making it “new” again?  Most of sampling’s enemies are really missing the point that this is a chance for their music to find a new life, or to live again…albeit not in the manner they might have chosen.  Right in the middle of this argument is an artist named Gregg Gillis, aka Girl Talk.

Instead of fighting for clearance, he just made a massive album of samples and released it for free on the internet.  That album, “The Night Ripper,” was released on the Illegal Art label in 2006.  Just to give you an idea of how much sampling took place, here’s a list of his thank yous’.

“2 Live Crew, 2PAC, 50 Cent, 69 Boyz, Abba, Paula Abdul, Aerosmith, Amerie, Annie, Arrested Development, David Banner, Rob Base, Bel Biv Devoe, George Benson, Better Than Ezra, Beyoncé, Black Box, The Black Crowes, Black Eyed Peas, Black Rob, Black Sheep, Boredoms, Boston, Bow Wow, Boyz II Men, The Breeders, Chris Brown, James Brown, Bun B, Busta Rhymes, Calloway, Candyman, Mariah Carey, Cassidy, Chicago, Ciara, Clipse, Phil Collins, Nikka Costa, Crime Mob, D12, D4L, DJ Assault, DJ EZ Rock, Dem Franchise Boyz, Digable Planets, Diplomats, Dinosaur Jr, Dr Dre, Jermaine Dupree, Elastica, Missy Elliot, Eminem, The Emotions, En Vogue, Fabolous, Fall Out Boy, Fatman Scoop, The Five Stairsteps, Fleetwood Mac, Folk Implosion, Foo Fighters, G-Unit, The Game, Garbage, Genesis, Andrew Gold, Al Green, Peter Gunz, Hall and Oates, Sophie B. Hawkins, Honey Drippers, Hum, Donnie Iris, J-Kwon, JJ Fad, Jay-Z, Jefferson Airplane, Joe Public, Elton John, Mike Jones, Junior Mafia, KRS ONE, Kansas, Kelis, Alicia Keys, LCD Soundsystem, LL Cool J, Lady Sovereign, Laid Back, Lil John, Lil Wayne, Lil Webbie, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam, Lord Tariq, Ludacris, M.A.R.R.S., M.I.A., Madonna, Main Ingredient, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, Marky Mark, Paul Mccartney, Michael Mcdonald,

George Michael, Mobb Deep, Mark Morrison, ‘NSYNC, Nas, Nate Dogg, Naughty by Nature, Nelly, Neutral Milk Hotel, Nine Inch Nails, Nirvana, Noreaga, Notorious B.I.G., Oasis, P. Diddy, Pavement, Phantom Planet, The Pharcyde, Pharrell, Pilot, The Pixies, Positive K, Public Enemy, Punjabi MC’s, Purple Ribbon All-Stars, The Rentals, Smokey Robinson, S.W.V., Salt N Pepa, Juelz Santana, Seals and Croft, Sir Mix-A-Lot, Slim Thug, The Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth, Britney Spears, Billy Squier, Gwen Stefani, T.L.C., James Taylor, Tears For Fears, Technotronic, Three 6 Mafia, Timbaland, Trillville, Trina, The Verve, The Waitresses, Paul Wall, Warren G, Weezer, Kanye West, Whispers, Wings, Steve Winwood, Stevie Wonder, Wreckx-N-Effect, X-Ray Spex, Ying Yang Twins, Young Gunz, Young Jeezy.” (thanks wikipedia!)

Gregg is something like a molecular biologist or something for his day job, and kind of does this stuff on the side.  Some of the electronic noises are of his own making, and all of the style that goes into producing the tracks is completely his.  Anyone can grab Pro Tools and shove two songs together, but not everyone can do it well.

“The Night Ripper” does it well.

His album is now being ‘sold’ over the internet, but can still be downloaded from various areas. He’s not looking to make a killing off his CD, he just wants you to come see his shows.  Maybe one day all music will be treated as such, but until then, check this out!


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