Know Your Samples

Know Your Samples: Gang Starr Finds Mass Appeal

On the first anniversary of Guru's death, it's only right that Beats, Boxing & Mayhem pays tribute to arguably Gang Starr's most celebrated song, "Mass Appeal."


On the first anniversary of Guru’s death, it’s only right that Beats, Boxing & Mayhem pays tribute to arguably Gang Starr’s most celebrated song, “Mass Appeal.” The track itself is a time capsule. If you ever have trouble explaining to someone what mid-90’s East Coast Hip-Hop sounded like, simply play this song. Its effectiveness comes from its simplicity: hard drums and a mesmerizing loop that makes you instinctively nod your head. That loop goes back to 1980 and the hand of guitarist Vic Juris. His original composition is named “Horizon Drive,” a piece that would fit in well today on any “smooth jazz” station. For Hip-Hoppers, our exclamation moment begins at the 3:33 mark and lasts all of about two, maybe three seconds.










Unfortunately, it appears that Juris himself isn’t appreciative of Primo’s sampling genius. On YouTube, he let his displeasure be known for what he sees as theft of his work.

“I wish YouTube would take this tune of mine down,” Juris fumed. “Maybe these thieves could have learned how to play an instrument.”

Of course, Hip-Hop fans tore into Juris for his comments. Some of the more choice ones are below.

“If the sample cleared, why are you complaining?…I’d be willing to bet that you made more off Primo’s 2 second sample than you did with this song.” -cawj7896

“Dude just mad ’cause more people talking about Primo on a video featuring his music.” – StrosB4Hos

“Funny how you want YouTube to take [it] down. Without it no one would ever get to hear it anymore…and good music would be lost forever…you should be happy that more people can enjoy it now… instead of [it] just faintly heard in [the] background [at the] irs office, hotels, weather channels and on hold.” -arlichar11

“Shut up and collect your royalty check.” – Truintell

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