One of last year’s biggest hits was Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” which rode a clipped, handclap-heavy beat very similar to the signature sound of DJ Mustard, whose work has dominated West Coast rap for a few years now. Meanwhile, one of this summer’s biggest and best hits is Jidenna’s “Classic Man,” which rides a lithe groove so similar to “Fancy” that Iggy Azalea and her collaborators got songwriting credits on it. Neither of these songs gives any official credit to DJ Mustard, but it’s hard to imagine either of them existing without him. Mustard has noticed.
As Complex points out, Mustard let off a series of since-deleted Tweets last night, calling both songs rip-offs and suggesting the possibility that he could sue. Here’s what he had to say:
The producers of fancy sued the niggas that did classic man. nigga suing for shit they ain’t start … Fancy was a rip off … Classic mans a rip off …. Str8 up! The moral of the story is I haven’t sued nobody YET. that’s like a nigga stealing a bike and selling it back. This is a west coast sound people from la all the way to the bay … I’m just one of the ones keeping it alive .
And while he deleted those Tweets, he also left one behind saying that he wasn’t hacked, so the sentiment still seems genuine:
West side 10 SUMMERS ….. No excuses …. Back to the money … Never was hacked … Keep Prayin on my down fall ….
— Dj mustard (@DJmustard) August 19, 2015
Nothing Mustard says is wrong. And if people are going to keep suing each other over musical influence, it would be nice to see a current pioneer getting paid. Still, these lawsuits are getting increasingly ridiculous. And if Mustard did sue, would he be leaving himself open for his own influences to sue him? Where does that end?
UPDATE: Mustard went on Hot 97 this morning to further explain his comments. Essentially, his position is that if he’s not making money off of “Fancy,” why should the producers of “Fancy” be making money off of “Classic Man”? It is a very reasonable position.