Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


School of Music

First Advisor

Kunio Hara

Second Advisor

Bruno Alcalde


With hip-hop becoming the number one genre in the United States, many artists working outside of the hip-hop genre are trying to emulate the success of hip-hop artists by incorporating compositional techniques of hip-hop into their own music. One of the most common hip-hop techniques adopted by artists working in other genres is sampling. However, with copyright rules and regulations becoming more strictly enforced, artists are finding creative ways to emulate sampling styles, while trying to avoid copyright concerns, including interpolation. Through the technique of interpolation, by reperforming aspects of the original song, artists are able to quote and reference previously recorded songs while avoiding some of the legal ramifications. This avoids many issues of copyright while providing the original songwriter with credit and a portion of the royalties. This trend has been increasing significantly since 2017 and many publishing companies are taking an interest in this trend. Primary Wave is leading the trend of buying artists’ catalogs and encouraging current artists to interpolate music from their own song library, bringing in revenue to the publishing company in addition to the artists. By focusing on songs from 2017 to 2023 of Billboard’s Year-End Hot 100, this thesis will exam interpolation trends through the lenses of social media, copyright issues, and economic gain for publishing companies.


© 2023, Grayson M. Saylor

Included in

Music Commons