Hip Hop Sampling

How Deborah Mannis-Gardner helped De La Soul get their samples cleared

A lot of red tape and a little patience make all the difference.

Shawn Setaro spoke to Deborah Mannis-Gardner, the woman who was instrumental in clearing the samples for De La Soul‘s classic catalog:

How long did this process take?

It actually took one year. We got on board in January of 2022.

Unfortunately, not 100% of your efforts were successful. Someone involved in the process confirmed to me there were at least a few replays. Can you talk to me about that?

In some of the handful of songs where they replayed the uses, the conversation we had was: “Hey guys, this is a copyright holder who may not be understanding; or it might financially drain you; or you have so many samples, and a sampled master holder takes a percentage of artists’ net or gross receipts for third party licensing, and you want to leave a piece for yourself.”

I know maybe some of the fans are disappointed if something was replayed, but the cost of samples are a lot different now. Back in that day, we used to be able to get James Brown for a $500 buyout. We used to get these things at a much lower cost.

Sometimes you have to replay, sometimes you have to interpolate. These were creative decisions that I had nothing to do with. My job was to give guidance and advice and let them know if I had any concerns or thoughts. Then they knew what to do.

Damn, imagine only having to pay $500 to clear a James Brown sample. Regardless of the failures, the successes more than outweighed them so thank you, Deborah!

Hi, it's Luke, the editor of Sampleface! Why not subscribe to my Patreon and support the blog?

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