A fifth of songs that made Billboard’s year-end Hot 100 chart in the US used samples, according to a report published by Tracklib – a company that focuses on sample-clearance. “It’s been fairly consistent the last few years: usually between 20-25%. Looking back 10 years, the number was 14%,” explains its ‘State of Sampling’ report.

“The increasing popularity of Hip-Hop has probably also had an impact on the number of samples. In 2018, Hip-Hop surpassed Rock to become the most popular music genre in the US… 38% of last year’s biggest Hip-Hop songs contained samples. R&B is the runner-up with roughly half as many samples (20%) as rap music. But even in the genre least known for sampling, Rock, samples are used; 8% of last year’s biggest Rock songs contained samples. For example, Panic! At the Disco sampled James Brown and Death Cab for Cutie sampled Yoko Ono in 2018 releases.”

The report also notes that two thirds of the top 50 albums in the US last year used samples – four per album on average. And one more quirky stat: “Not even one song on the Billboard Top 100 last year sampled 70s music. It’s of course still very popular, but the most common decade to sample right now is actually the 2010s.”

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