Date: December 17, 1991

Believe it or not, there was a time when hip-hop producers didn't feel like they had to clear every single sample that they used on a song. Production teams like the Bomb Squad flooded songs with samples without even giving it a second thought. But that all changed after singer Gilbert O'Sullivan sued Biz Markie.

O'Sullivan heard Biz's song "Alone Again" on his third album, I Need a Haircut, and realized that it used samples from his song, "Alone Again (Naturally)." So O'Sullivan and his record label, Grand Upright Music, sued Biz and his record label, Warner Bros. Records, for copyright infringement and claims that Biz had used O'Sullivan's sample without getting the proper permission for it. And while Biz and Warner Bros. tried to argue that sampling was something that all rappers and producers did, the court sided with O'Sullivan and his label.

The case had a huge impact on the entire music industry. Record labels became much more diligent about clearing samples, and some producers stopped using them as often as they had before because of what Biz went through. And Biz himself poked fun at the whole thing on his fourth album by calling it All Samples Cleared.