“Amen Brother” and Other Funky Breaks

by on March 5, 2007

Against Monopoly points to a YouTube video tracking some history of the “Amen Brother” beat and sampling generally.

The video reminded me again of the upwelling of creativity that occured in the late 80’s before sampling came on the the radar screen of copyright holders.

“Amen Brother” is important, of course, but there are many other beats that contend for top honors. I went looking for James Brown’s “Funky Drummer” beat and came across this list of beats, calling itself “The 30 Greatest Hip Hop Drum Breaks & Samples of All Time.” Well, I’m not so sure, if it doesn’t have Funky Drummer, but listening to the beats connotes the dozens of songs that succeeded them. It’s an exciting window into our culture.

Finally, after much searching, I came across the Funky Drummer beat on this list. Enjoy.

The point? Creative works are not just outputs of creative people – they’re also very much inputs to new creative works, a point made well by Greg Lastowka and Dan Hunter in their Cato Policy Analysis Amateur-to-Amateur: The Rise of a New Creative Culture.

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