It is difficult to clear samples, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Don’t just assume you won’t get permission until you ask. You’re trying to make it in the music business so you should be accustomed to trying to do difficult things. Still, you should be aware that if you ask permission and it’s denied and you release your track anyway you are potentially facing damages for “willful infringement.”

Don’t forget to seek permission from both the owner of the copyright in the recording, which is typically a label, and the owner of the copyright in the composition, which typically a publisher. Sometimes both are owned by the same individual or entity, but remember you have to get permission to use both the recording and the composition.