It was all good just a week ago.
No, literally one week ago Toronto rapper Mo G was posting celebratory pictures while rocking OVO clothes and partying with Drake, but as Reddit spotted, yesterday he took to Instagram to accuse Drake of stealing his creativity and to promise retribution.
"Have you ever ever heard in history a man that gives away his creativity and helps make Billboard hits but doesn't get paid a dollar or get one credit for it and is here stuck in the hood that doesn't make sense but exposing these niggas will make sense fuck you it's on"
Well, yes Mo, I have heard of people giving away their creativity for free and without credit in history. Future came up with the phrase "Started from the bottom" and Drake only sent him a bottle of champagne as a thank you, but that's just Drake. Hip-hop history is neck-deep in jacking, stealing, ghostwriting, and just flat-out honest collaboration, but moving past the obvious, let's get to specifics.
To rewind, Mo G was the latest recipient of Drake's legendary co-sign. According to an MTV interview, OVO helped pay for Mo G to record his Ave Boy album and in turn, when Mo rapped, "Switch it up with the left like Ginobli" from his song "Still," Drake flipped that into "I hit that Ginobili with my left hand up like woo" on "Jumpman," and then broke out Mo G's "Ginobli" dance in both the "Energy" and "Hotline Bling" videos.
And there you go, now Drake's shout out on "Summer Sixteen" makes sense: "Mo-G with the dance moves / Ave Boy with the dance moves."
All that seemed like plenty for Mo, who was seemingly prostrating himself at the feet of the 6 God, saying that Drake gave him a career and praising Drizzy for putting Toronto on the map, but clearly times have changed.
Mo didn't exactly articulate his accusations clearly, despite his threats to expose Drake's manager Oliver he's so far only exposed a tendency to ramble into a cell phone camera, but I think there's two ways to read this. First, he's intimating that he ghostwrote hits for Drake, which wouldn't exactly be the first time we've heard that charge leveled at Drizzy. To be frank I'm hard pressed to believe Drake wanted Mo to write for him considering how thoroughly non-impressive Mo Go's own music is, but hey, Drake had Quentin Miller writing for him and co-signed motherfucking Ramriddlz, so who knows?
I've got another theory though. Mo could more literally be mad he didn't get an official writing credit on "Jumpman," which would have likely brought in some serious money. He'd be far from the first artist to stop valuing a flashy co-sign once he realizes just how big those publishing checks he's not getting can be, but should Drake have credited Mo? The lines get blurry.
If an artist uses someone's line they should give writing credit to the original person who wrote it, even if that person wasn't ever directly involved in the creation of the song. For example, that means Kanye needs to pay Nelly for saying, "It's gettin' hot in hurr," on "30 Hours" and that Nelly gets writing credit.
My favorite story in this realm is that Mac Miller originally said, "I'm not a player I just crush a lot" on Ariana Grande's "The Way," but once the label learned how much they'd have to pay to use that line, they cut it to just "I'm not a player," arguing that while the entire phrase was clearly Big Pun's, no one could claim to have sole ownership over just the words, "I'm not a player."
That could be what's happened here. Someone could have gotten in Mo's ear and told him, "You know, Drake legally should have credited you for using that Ginobli line on 'Jumpman,'" even though in my humble-definitely-not-a-lawyer opinion, Drake changed the line just enough that Mo would be hard pressed to win a court case. Or, Mo could just be burning a giant bridge because he's irrationally angry over some petty shit and he has no idea what publishing even is.
Both possibilities are in play, but no matter what happens, we all learned a little something about how songwriting credit works today, and that could only be a good thing.
UPDATE: Mo G just upped the ante by revealing texts between him and Drake and very specifically saying that he was asked to (ghost?) write for Drake.