Logic may want to rethink his rap name. The superstar Maryland MC just began rolling out his new album Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind with the Eminem collab “Homicide.” This much seems logical. What does not compute is the public stance Logic just took against sample clearance.
Last night on Twitter, Logic posted a message expressing frustration with the tedious nature of clearing samples. The tweet seemed to be an expression of longing for the anything-goes nature of sampling on mixtapes before rappers began releasing virtually all their projects through official streaming services and retailers. He also implied that he’s had to change some of the beats on his songs after the copyright holder denied use of a sample. Here’s his full complaint:
Just want to take a moment and say, Fuck sample clearence [sic]. Fuck clearing samples. Fuck people taking all a producers money for not doing shit and fuck the companies that say no just cuz. This is hip hop. I’m tired of replaying shit. Fuck the money. This why mixtapes was so good.
To a point, Logic’s argument is understandable. The way producers like Prince Paul, the Bomb Squad, and the Dust Brothers tossed together piles of disparate sounds in the late ’80s and early ’90s was breathlessly exciting, and then an onslaught of lawsuits forced hip-hop to adjust its practice. And in the ’00s, when rappers regularly released free projects through sites like Datpiff and Livemixtapes — a continuation of the longtime practice of selling mixtapes out of somebody’s trunk — it was exhilarating to hear what people like Lil Wayne could pull off over other people’s beats. But again, the rise of Spotify, Apple Music, and the rest has incentivized rappers to release every project through official channels and reduced the free mixtape sites to a shadow of their former selves.
On the other hand: Come on, Logic. You are rich. You can afford to pay for samples. The law exists for a reason, to prevent musicians from exploiting others’ work without permission. Sample protections can be abused, but protecting intellectual property is a good thing. And if you want to release music illegally, Danny Brown and others have discovered inventive ways to do it that don’t involve going back to Datpiff. Ask yourself: Do you really want to be the wealthy superstar rapper who gripes about paying other people for their music? Is that logical?
Just want to take a moment and say, Fuck sample clearence. Fuck clearing samples. Fuck people taking all a producers money for not doing shit and fuck the companies that say no just cuz. This is hip hop. I’m tired of replaying shit. Fuck the money. This why mixtapes was so good.
— Bobby Bestseller (@Logic301) May 7, 2019
You mean to tell me no one was around to say "please don't tweet that you hate paying people for sampling their music"? pic.twitter.com/X75vXsAIbO
— Craig Bro Dude (@CraigSJ) May 7, 2019