Let me start of with (re)introducing the Hardknock track by Joey and CJ Fly, which you’re probably already familiar with if you haven’t been living under a rock or lost in your own vinyl collection the last couple of months. Joey’s ‘1999’ album is in my opinion one of the illest releases of the year and this track alone got over 300000 views on youtube. Because it is dope, I was diggin’ it! But then last night I saw the homie on fb and it turned out the beat is not much of Joey’s at all.
Now, let’s rewind, get back to the origins and peep this video right here. Sounds familiar huh? It’s a classic beat from Lewis Parker ’98 album Masquerades & Silhouettes (The Ancients Series One). Lewis Parker is a British Hip Hop producer who created this beat at the age of 17 and ever since worked with Ghostface Killah, John Robinson and more.
It’s a never-ending discussion in Hip Hop and especially beatcreation on what exactly is the thin line between biting or being inspired, between snatching and using. But in this case I think it’s quite obvious that not sufficient credit was given where the credit was due. Joey didn’t sample the beat, chop the beat or manipulate it whatsoever. He took it as is and released a hit track without permission, even a notification or a fair share on royalties to Lewis Parkers end. And that ain’t cool yo.
In the Decoded behind the scenes clip he says “I took a trip and that’s where I found the beat”, so he ain’t fronting about it being his creation but leaving it at that, mentioning no further details like he’s avoiding to give credit. It is said that the beat is credited on the album cover, but whats the true value of that if you don’t approach the artist? I had nothing but love for Joey and the Pro Era movement so far, but in the world of Hip Hop where paying your respects is a norm, this is certain letdown.
Lewis himself remained calm and collected, feeling disrespected but feeling no need to spread hostility or hatred, and I respect that. More so reason for me to tryna make sure more people know the true story behind this track and who really deserves the props for this amazing beat.
Feel free to shower Lewis Parker with your love through his facebook, flood the comments on the Hardknock video bringing awareness and hope for Joey to take a lesson out of this.
Truth is told, I’m out. Peace!