Chuck D looked at me quizzically, his furrowed brow barely showing beneath the bill of his black Raiders cap. “Sure,” the rapper said as I handed him a yellowed copy of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl. “I’ll read it. Sounds interesting.”
I had been writing about the issue of digital sampling in hip-hop for several years in the 1980s. When a judge’s ruling in 1991 forever changed the way hip-hop would be made, I wrote this followup.