Juke Ellington Exposed For Stealing More Records

Jukeellington

In reporting the inner-workings of the industry, lines become blurry.  Deciding what’s right and what’s wrong is a daily task.  I reported a few weeks ago that Juke Ellington stole a song in some capacity and passed it off as his own.  We don’t know if he purchased the song from Soundclick and passed it off as his own, or downloaded the track from Kid Urban, slowed the tune down, and renamed it to act as if he produced it; nobody ever clarified what happened.  All we’re sure of is that a producer on the rise that had tons of love and respect in the industry had his entire catalog in question because of one “mistake.”

I felt odd about being the one to post this information, as I’ve always had positive interactions with him.  Juke Ellington just had a child.  Despite the hatred that I hold for those that hinder fairness and legitimacy within this industry, being the one to ruin the career of a new father and generally good dude is not the thing that anyone with half a heart wants to do.  But the flood of people that reached out to me after this article went live was a bit overwhelming.

My post a couple weeks ago was shared around and talked about more than I would have ever imagined, and actually led to dozens of people telling similar stories.  I’m working on a handful of them at one time, and will slowly start to uncover the foul practices within the industry at all levels.  It’s much bigger than just Juke Ellington, and reaches to producers that you know and love.  Producers that aren’t actually making the records that are turning them into superstars.  But as I flush out those stories and build these cases, I thought it to be prudent to finish the story that started these conversations.

¡EL CUCUY! is a producer living in Portland that you may or may not be familiar with. His work has been ferocious for quite some time, and he’s been nothing short of slept on. He has been jumping between genres, creating some next level records that you could classify if you wanted to. It’s all bass music, and all of it is ridiculous. So when someone that’s familiar with his work hears a record like “Dippin,” it makes complete sense:

Then we hear the “collaboration” between Juke Ellington and ¡EL CUCUY! on “Dippin Trappin.” It isn’t far from being the same exact track: “Dippin” was sped-up and hats were added.  Outside of that, there is no difference between these two tracks.  The sequencing is exactly the same.  The vocal samples land in the same exact place. And though this is nothing more than an edit, it was released by Juke Ellington as a collaborative track:

Though this record has since been removed from Juke Ellington’s SoundCloud page, you can find “Dippin Trappin” all over YouTube if you peek around.  Anyone can feel free to debate what the ethical move is when two people contribute to a record. The bigger question to me was why ¡EL CUCUY! would wait until now to say anything about this. His explanation actually makes a lot of sense.

His [Juke Ellington's] explanation was that he like the original arrangement & didn’t want to take away from the song as it was. It was one of my 1st collaborations as well & since he didn’t make the song worse, I sort of went with it. I didn’t say anything because the track was well received by DJs/blogs and I knew I had written it. My fan base grew. My name was out there. I just moved on to the next track & didn’t make a fuss. But I definitely felt like I had to share my story once the original story broke.”

You might think this is ridiculous, but his explanation makes perfect sense.  Juke Ellington is one of hundreds of producers that have my personal contact information.  It’s easier for them to place tracks in my hands than it would be someone that I have never heard of, and I’m sure it’s like this with tons of other blogs.  ¡EL CUCUY! has a better chance of his work being heard if someone that has a little leverage pushes the track.   As the risks and rewards get bigger, so does this practice.  You may start to notice how many big name producers collaborate with people that you’ve never heard of.  There are hundreds of producers that will willingly give away their work to a producer that has a following in order to get recognized.  And as most big blogs and sites don’t have writers and curators that know how to dictate what’s good, leaning on the proven producers seems like a logical move if you want to get some kind of recognition in this game.

Though there is debate in the morality of this practice, the next producer that contacted me seals the deal with Juke Ellington. Skulltrane is producer from San Francisco that has been making wonky trap and juke records for the past year. She gave stems to a record called “TalktheTalk” to Juke Ellington and heard nothing back:

Months later we hear the same exact drum work on a remix that Juke Ellington released for DJ Azamat & NXTLYF. It’s essentially an edit that is built from the stems of two different songs. The vocals were removed from the Skulltrane record, and a couple elements from the DJ Azamat & NXTLYF record were added.  Skultrane was never credited:

In the original piece I wrote on Juke Ellington, I spoke on blacklisting any producer that we caught in the act of passing off someone else’s work as their own. The response on this sentiment was split. Though my personal feelings about muddying legitimacy are unwavering, we saw comments like “give the man a break…he is human,” and actually considered them. Juke Ellington apologized, and swore that he was going to change and put in work.

We have no clue what Juke Ellington actually produced anymore; his whole catalog is in question. I had his tunes removed from TrapMusic.NET (because I curate content there), and won’t be posting his records on any site I work for ever again. He is the first on a long list of frauds I’m aware of in this industry.  And though you can’t do much more than walk away and shake your head, this situation speaks on bigger issues. How do you credit a track that two people worked unequal amounts on?  How can we as bloggers and content curators let unknown producers know that we will post their content no matter how many followers or plays they have?  What does poking holes in industry practice do to your reputation within the industry?  All of that will be settled in the following months.  This producer might be done, but my quest to uncover those at the top that are doing the same exact thing has just begun.

  • flkdjsafds

    “He is the first on a long list of frauds I’m aware of in this industry.”

    I’m all ears. Seriously, the sooner people get exposed, the sooner we can weed them out.

    • charlie marshall

      I personally can’t wait to hear about the big names, that everyone knows have been stealing songs, but no one wants to admit to it.

      • http://icnt.mx/ icnt.mx

        Diplo, Reilly Steel

        There, that should get the ball rolling.

        • charlie marshall

          Really?!?! Diplo’s stolen a full tune? :L Dayum. Which one?

          • http://icnt.mx/ icnt.mx
          • charlie marshall

            I checked that out. Diplo didn’t release it as a Major Lazer tune, but did give the rights to DJHero. Because it was just a mashup which used Pon Di Floor, which is a Major Lazer original, Diplo had the rights to do that. Diplo hasn’t tried to steal any productions and pass them off as his own.

  • ConstructDubs

    Let’s just get rid of play counts of soundcloud and such… it would leave people to make their own judgement about music, and maybe ppl won’t rely on these dirty methods…

    • http://www.rockthedub.com/ khal
      • DJAUDIO1

        Click “Hide stats” on your tracks on Soundcloud. Let the music speak for itself.

        • khal

          good luck with getting that movement started though.

      • http://icnt.mx/ icnt.mx

        at the top of this article, before any content, is a count of how many times the article has been liked on facebook and shared on twitter. how is this any different?

        • http://www.rockthedub.com/ khal

          because i’m not writing posts on this site to then put on my resume to try and get gigs writing in other spots? no one is juicing stats on any of these posts. there have been situations where people have juiced their soundcloud plays to get put into certain situations.

          • http://icnt.mx/ icnt.mx

            way to move the goalposts.

          • http://www.rockthedub.com/ khal

            you’re the one trying to put a website displaying buttons that allow you to like a post that also counts them (which is a FB thing, not a DAD thing) with soundcloud displaying the plays, which can help give people advantages and status amongst their peers.

    • Jomoh

      They should allow a feature that enables you to omit stats. When looking for new tracks I try to avoid stats and comments, like they say numbers don’t lie and they persuade.

  • ??

    well to be honestly blogs DON’T post stuff from unknown people…unless there’s a kewl story behind it & it might b the alias of somebody famous or something

    • Michael DjNappy Abernathy

      we do.

    • http://www.rockthedub.com/ khal

      “some” blogs*

    • Matthew Ladner

      Blogs have to post stuff that will get traffic now. There were loads of amazing underground blogs doing there thing 5-6 years ago. Now its a rat race to make money off ads. Look at how watered down the posts on this very home page are.

      • franjazzco

        cash ruins everything around me..

      • Michael DjNappy Abernathy

        You’ve probably totally heard of KickRaux and Boeboe and Drull (who’ve only released 3 tracks EVER) and SLAGZ and DVS* and been you’ve certainly been playing White Shadow’s trap beats though he’s never released a trap record. We’re totally conformists over here. Lolz to you.

        • Matthew Ladner

          “More TV Theme Songs That Need Trap Remixes” is on the font billboard of the site and your not pandering for clicks… /rolls eyes.

          • http://www.rockthedub.com/ khal

            who are we pandering to for clicks? how many people clicked that feature? did you read the feature? WHY was that feature done? have you checked out any of the other pieces on the site? do you even read this site regularly? i mean anyone can make any kind of assumption by looking at the features on a site, right? what about our pieces on sampling for producers? or drum & bass pioneers? or breaking down EDM genres? or the number of songs from artists that get little to no coverage on other sites that cover dance music?

  • elpizzysofresh

    Anybody remember a dnb tune from Autumn & Midas Touch called “Original Sin”? We were approached by a label manager asking to have a remix done and told contracts would be sent for an official release. Months later nothing was heard from involved parties. The tune was released as an original containing only our original vocals on a label called Critical, solely credited to an artist named Sabre. Nothing happened and the incident was swept under the rug.

    • Michael DjNappy Abernathy

      i do. and that’s nuts.

    • http://www.rockthedub.com/ khal

      whoa. can you shoot an email to info@doandroidsdance.com about this?

  • Upgreyed
  • Matthew Ladner

    I would say this article is pretty biased and takes allot of liberty with calling out things that are colab’s/reworks/or samples. Everyone samples. Remember that first Justice record. 60% of that was not original melodies or instrumentation. That being said. If you properly license another artists track to rework as long as you pay for the correct license you can basically do with it what you please and call it what you want. Look at beyonce’s – run the world. Sure its just pon de floor but she paid in full to use and rename it so fair game. Just my .02.

    • Matthew Ladner

      I basically said fuck grammar and punctuation. yolo.

    • http://www.rockthedub.com/ khal

      ok but if the artist you collaborated with is feeling it was more stolen than collaborative…?

    • Michael DjNappy Abernathy

      Your point has a bit of validity. In the case of collabs, there certainly is a grey area. You’re more than welcome to do as you wish if you purchase a record. But “Run The World” isn’t what this conversation is about. Diplo, Afrojack, and Switch were all credited after it was purchased. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Run_the_World_(Girls)

  • franjazzco

    honestly? i don’t really see the record stealing in a collab tune, even if one collaborator did like 98% of the work, or in the use other people’s drum stems. if this is stealing anyone’s ideas, there’s quite a couple of chicago footwork music from teklife and others you might call stolen as they’re using samples and sounds i’ve shared with them – i don’t see it that way, not least because my samples are mostly either taken from records that others have produced or from royalty free sample libraries. the question is, who do sounds and who do ideas actually belong to? the industry’s ideas on that topic have been proven odd hundreds and thousands of times and thus, imo, cannot easily be applied on such topics. imagine a world where all knowledge, all opportunities, all property is equally available to every person on this planet (capabilities and technology to make it happen have been around for quite a while) – no one would actually have to steal anything, evenmore, there wouldn’t be anything like stealing. btw, afaik the winston brothers never received a cent for the amen break.

    yet, as this world’s not perfect and probably won’t be for a long time just a few names i know have been exploiting the creative work of others (people that i personally know and who could prove their point personally to me) in terms of letting them do all the work and simply put their name on the final production: berlin-based techno producer and label head of stil vor talent oliver koletzki (who seems to be a pompous cunt in general) and the head of austrian mainframe recordings and self-called producer disaszt (you might decide on the cuntiness level of a person threating promoters who paste over their poster billboards to have them beaten up yourself). i’m quite sure this is somewhat of an industry standard these days, defo not saying that ALL common producers adore themselves with borrowed plumes – still, all that glitters is not gold. it’s the consument’s turn to snoop behind the curtains and try and recognize what is real and what’s not – as long as ever more and more people don’t and simply seek their luck in going along with each and every dumb short-termed media hype, it’s clear that not the wisest and most creative ones will stand in the spotlight but those who scream the loudest. jus my two cent

    • http://www.rockthedub.com/ khal

      im familiar with disaszt and mainframe…

    • El Primis

      This has made me kind of change my perspective on the issue, although what conflicts me the most is how thin the line really is, when does crediting end when u sample a track? only when it’s subtle? Hell, we won’t get to the answer in this comment line, but excellent reflection on the matter.

  • Eric Sharp

    Great piece, and his actions seem deplorable. I don’t know why he doesn’t just name these “collabs” (trololol) edits instead. Nobody would take issue with that.

    Really appreciate your ownership of music journalism being part of the problem, to which I’d add the fact that the volume of tracks being produced is astronomical. In the 3 years since I started an indie label it’s gotten harder and harder to get anyone with traffic to pay attention to anything unless I have a personal relationship with them. I’ve concluded that at this point you either need a huge name on/behind a record or a publicist with serious clout. Otherwise sending out music is an extremely frustrating waste of time shouting into the wilderness no matter how good the work is.

  • El Primis

    Hey guys, Mama Testa here, I am half of NXTLYF and had heard of Juke’s news when it first broke out, with my biggest fear being that juke had pulled this trick on our release. After reading this new piece, I must say the feeling of offense grew a little. Even though it’s not my responsibility, I kind of feel ashamed for myself that a remix in one of my releases has stolen material in it, and clearly I feel more shame for Juke who most likely thought no one would notice, he underestimated the power and knowledge of his own community and fell to the bottom.

    I try to be as ethical as possible with the manner I produce my music and how I share it with my fans and community, and I feel a high percentage of producers in this sector give it their all to create a genuine, unique sound as well and there should be no place or tolerance for forgery or stealing.

    If there are other producers who take into this practice of snatching tracks I agree with the notion of weeding them out as they surface, it’s not fair for the rest of us who can actually construct pieces on our own, especially when you see influencers who claim a certain degree of greatness for their work.

    • Michael DjNappy Abernathy

      I thank you much for your words on this.

  • http://newschoolmag.com/ Trey Michaels

    This sucks… I really ike a few of this guys songs

  • Jomoh

    How about artist just release tracks on their label, then make an edit. No excuse for stealing. But like a professor said, if you get away with it you deserve it.

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  • hdfh

    damn, juke seems like a good dude and we are actually in the middle of working on a project with him :/ we’ll see how that goes haha

    • troy kete

      i just finished a collab with him recently. he was legitimate and a totally nice dude when i worked on our tune.

  • Zachary Doc Rasta Simone

    i really make all my own music… ;)

    https://soundcloud.com/docrasta

  • duchess

    alot more than you think! including one very very well known pretty boy that goes by just two letters at home I call him DB for douchebag but really hes B…..(second letter left out but you can fill in that blank comes right after s)… i know for a fact that he passes off production and dj sets done by ghost writers and ghost djs as HIS OWN and signs em to a nda or just uses interns so he don’t have to pay em as much!!!!!!!!…. i don’t know but after reading about him in a magazine as a prolific producer my stomach felt the same after milli vanilli came clean…. Hollywood the music industry pervert and rape every form of creativity known to man and pass off whomever fits their ideal… another great their is MISS lauryn hill she didn’t even pay the boy who she took her shit from. jacked. if you make music and live in LA be real real careful who u share it with because if you don’t keep it close you’ll hear it next time your out from someone elses set

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