Rothbart: Tell me how "the big break" came about.
Hawthorne: I wanted to make my own samples so I wouldn't have to pay for song clearances. Really, that's how Mayer Hawthorne started. I recorded a couple of half-baked soul tunes in my bedroom that I could use for sampling purposes in our rap songs. They didn't even have a bridge or a last chorus. I never dreamed that stuff would be released on its own.
Check it out. It's definitely worth a read.