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date: 16 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the rather unknown digital sampling practice known as ghosting, a way of sampling a recording without providing its auditory evidence, in order to consider the musical and extramusical implications of sampling in hip hop. It uses the Timbaland-produced recordings of Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack” and Nelly Furtado’s “Say It Right” as examples of ghosting that not only illuminate the ways in which sample-based hip hop producers maintain hip hop’s tradition of sampling without concern of violating copyright infringement but also illustrate how sampling establishes queer spatiotemporal interfaces between bodies, technology, and the social formations of race, gender, and sexuality. In all, this chapter posits that ghosting complicates the previous ways in which scholars, critics, and general listeners have come to understand and think about sampling as purely a technical practice; instead, ghosting points to how we must consider sampling’s sociocultural, and especially intersectional, import.

Keywords: sampling, ghosting, temporalities, race, gender, sexuality, queer, Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Nelly Furtado

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