Babies and Masters

Posted: October 10, 2015 in Press

I just want to shed some light on those of you who want to get ahead fast. Many of you have done your studying of past artists and their success. You’ve studied the music and the business. Many of you can run down the history of how a particular song was written, produced, recorded; where it was recorded, and so forth. You can even go into great detail on how certain artists were screwed over in their career(s). Many of you were screwed over in your career. You also know what is fair in business, but many of you show a total disrespect in business. You speak what people want to hear, but you practice trickery.

What do I mean? If you’re a young songwriter, or even a seasoned veteran, you should give the proper song credit reflecting the contributors for each song. And, if the credit is something you would NOT be comfortable with, do not expect anyone else to be comfortable with the same. In fact, you may have ruined a potential business relationship because of a poor choice/decision based on greed. Don’t practice the same bad deeds that were done to you.

As a veteran composer, recording producer, and musician, it’s my duty to ensure that those coming up in my midst do what’s right, and receive the necessary information that will ensure positive growth. Not all will, and in fact, not all have. I’ve seen a lot of people come and go in this business really fast. I’ve met some artists when they first began, who’ve toiled really hard to enjoy the success they have today. I’ve learned a lot of great lessons from such masters who have endured lengthy careers; people as Abbey Lincoln, T. J. Anderson, Roy Haynes, Lalo Schifrin, Quincy Jones, Kenny Gamble, Eric “Vietnam” Sadler, and Luther Campbell.

In nearly all the lives of those who are successful, the ability to work as a team with others is a common factor. What does that mean? Well, you have to know when to pass the baton/the ball/the duties, when you are not competent in a particular area. You must be willing to share with others. That means sharing the ownership of the music. Can you do that? Will you do that? Or are you a greedy one? Do you mis-use others because they lack a certain knowledge? Do you share knowledge with those you work with so that they may grow? Are you a two-bit hustler in slick attire who’ll take 99% of a song and give your sister or brother 1%? Which are you? This reminds me of a song Chuck D and I composed and produced on the Muse-Sick-N-Hour Mess-Age album, “What Side You On?” We incorporated background vocals from the Punk Barbarians, my brother, folks from the neighborhood, and d.j.’s. We made certain to acknowledge everyone that worked on that song, and the album. You must acknowledge the contribution(s) of your constituents, and be fair with them.

I recall a certain rapper who, when interviewed, would never mention the producers or song-writers with whom he collaborated. It was as if the music just happened. It is everyone’s duty to assist in the building and development of one another. This is how careers are made. And, in that process, when one is lifted up, and that individual does not acknowledge their beginnings or the people who helped them to get where they are; well, then you must check them… them out! If I would say I knew no one who fit that description, I’d be lying.

Those of you who fit the description of the unfair one, it’s not too late to change. You’re still young in mind. Maturity hasn’t yet set in, wherein you realize that the journey is a long one, and not a short one. The road to success is a long hike, and it’s not an overnight camping trip. If you want good to come to you, you must do good toward others by being fair in business relations.



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