Imagine you're a producer who has a discography that includes credits on albums by JAY-Z, Kanye West, Rick Ross, LL Cool J and countless others.
Now imagine running through your Wikipedia page and coming across a credit for an album that you never produced on.
Must be a mistake, right? After all, anyone can edit a Wikipedia page.
As it turns out, though, it's not a mistake. An artist actually released an album that includes a record featuring a beat you made but never personally delivered or signed off on and, even worse, you were never paid a single cent for the placement.
What the fuck, right?
In 2008, GRAMMY-award winning producer Bink! invited Royce da 5'9" and Joe Budden to his home studio in Virginia to craft a record for Royce's next album. Although the record, entitled "For You," never made it onto a Royce da 5'9" album, it did end up making the cut as a bonus track on Budden's 2009 full-length, Escape Route.
"I've never sent Joe Budden anything, in life," Bink! told DJBooth by phone. "Apparently, he just took the record and added it to his album [Escape Route]. I'm on my Wikipedia and it says that I did a song with Joe Budden. I'm like, 'No, I haven't' [laughs]. So I go and find the song and I'm like, 'Oh shit.' He took the record that was meant for Royce, he credited me and he didn't ever pay [me]. How can you take the record, give me credit and then never reach out and say, 'Hey, I used your music'?"
As far as Bink! was concerned, the record was never released. He never received a phone call from Joe Budden, asking him permission to use the record for Escape Route, nor did he receive a call from Royce, asking him permission to hand the record over to Joe for use on his album.
According to the producer, this past March, shortly after Rick Ross released his brand new album, Rather You Than Me—which includes three Bink! production credits—Budden finally reached out on Twitter, but the correspondence was about working together in the future, not about using his beat eight years ago without permission and never paying him for the placement.
While Budden has largely transitioned away from recording new material and into his position as a talking head for the Complex show Everyday Struggle—and he did offer a pseudo apology on Twitter—Bink! isn't interested in working with Budden ever again. "Nah, that deal is off the table. I won't ever do anything with Joe Budden in life," he said.
To make matters worse, Bink! revealed that Budden's "For You" isn't the first time that one of his beats was placed on a for-sale album without him knowing about it and without being cut a check. He declined to reveal the names of the other artists.
As a result, Bink! says he no longer emails beats, opting instead to work with artists in person. "That's why you don't see me as much—I don't play that game," Bink! explained.
For his part, on the latest episode of the Joe Budden Podcast, Budden admits that he has stolen beats, not paid for beats and looped beats to get out paying producers, an admission that ultimately led to Bink! going off about the subject on Twitter.
So, what can a producer do to avoid the same fate? On the heels of multiple producers claiming Playboi Carti has stolen their beats without permission or payment—a claim Carti has denied—Bink! believes the only way to fix things is to go backward.
"You'd have to go back to the old school, where [producers] would put out a beat with their voice going through it the entire time," he explained. "I've done that before and these rap dudes, the balls on them is insane, they'd call me and say, 'Can you send me that beat without that [voice] over top?' Naw, for me to take that off, you gotta pay."
Of course, the exchange of ideas and music between an artist and a producer doesn't have to be complicated. "Respect producers, man."