Now this was unexpected. Last month, Ninja Tune dropped a preview of “Back Seat Ho,” a track from Machinedrum‘s forthcoming Fenris District EP. With a March 24 release date, we know a lot of heads were anticipating this EP’s release, so we could get not only this track but the Rustie remix as well. What was so unexpected? The fact that DJ Clent would be unhappy with the track’s release.
Earlier today, Clent hit us up via Twitter to say that Machinedrum remade his track “Back Seat Hoe” without his consent. If you’re not familiar with it, you should be: Brenmar dropped it in his “History of Chicago” mix last year. Plus, the song was originally released on Dance Mania in 2000. In speaking to DJ Clent, he’s contacted Ninja Tune, who said they would be looking into the situation, but the interesting point here is that the vocals on “Back Seat Hoe” aren’t samples, but original recordings of Clent and the mother of his children.
Now we’re not against sampling at DAD at all; some of the best innovations in the dance music scene have come from sampled material. Proper credit and compensation is important. Clent says he’s never spoken to Machinedrum, although he has sent him messages but has yet to heard back from him. We imagine that hearing his vocal on a track of Machinedrum’s track is awkward, especially when Machinedrum has been integral in helping expose Chicago’s juke and footwork sounds to those who weren’t aware of it previously. Many people might only associate juke or footwork with Machinedrum, not on purpose but because they just had no idea about its roots. That doesn’t make jacking those vocals OK, but the onus is on Machinedrum and/or Ninja Tune to make this right.
We asked Clent how he’d like to see this settled, and he kept it real: “either take [it] down or pay me and give me my credit for the concept and vocals.” With that March 24 release date looming, we’ll see how this one gets worked out.