Unauthorised sampling in hip hop has been a legal minefield since the early ’90s, when the genre began to build into a commercial force, and artists whose works were being manipulated and reconstituted began to feel cheated.

It was, initially, more of a legal issue in U.K. dance music. The KLF (then named The JAMs) were one of the first high-profile acts to feel the legal force of this crackdown when they were ordered to destroy unsold copies of their sample-heavy album 1987 (What the Fuck Is Going On?), after ABBA filed a copyright claim.

An unsuccessful lawsuit attempted to stifle a 1989 song by hip hop group 2 Live Crew, which leaned heavily on Roy Orbison’s ‘Oh, Pretty Woman’. The court ruled it was a parody, and therefore protected by fair use, and that any commercial success was not a result of the Big O’s reputation, as the two songs were aimed at vastly different markets.

Two songs released in 1990 broadened the appeal of hip hop almost overnight: MC Hammer’s ‘You Can’t Touch This’ and Vanilla Ice’s ‘Ice Ice Baby’.

Both were based around prominent samples, and both artists settled lawsuits out of court by crediting the original artists: Rick James, whose ‘Super Freak’ is the basis of ‘You Can’t Touch This’, and ‘Under Pressure’, written by David Bowie and Queen, and from which the bassline was nabbed by Vanilla Ice for his frozen treat of a tune.