If you thought this situation got sorted out in 2012, it looks like the Fantasea can of worms has been reopened.
Today Re-Tox is reporting that Dutch producer MasterD is suing Diplo over Azealia Banks’ “Fuck Up The Fun,” which is taken from her Fantasea mixtape. “But wait, didn’t Diplo already resolve this?” Yeah, we thought the same thing, when Diplo emailed Pitchfork two years ago. For those who don’t remember, “Fuck Up The Fun” was initially uploaded to Azealia’s SoundCloud with sole credits to Diplo, but when dust was kicked up on the Internets (as the track included a sample of MasterD’s “Mad Drumz”), the credit was amended to be a collab; it was even said that Jeffree’s would be releasing a MasterD tune with DJ Shaun-D, “It’s About To Go Down.” At the time, Diplo said that ”These guys are my homies. If anyone can really help break these underground movements it’s a young artist like Azealia Banks.”
While we’ve not seen a copy of the lawsuit that MasterD has apparently has drawn up (and is said to be brought against Diplo and “Universal Music Group as well as all the retailers that allegedly distributed Banks’ “Fantasea” mix tape, including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Overstock.com, and Best Buy“), MasterD apparently stated that he copyrighted “Mad Drumz” in 2008, and Diplo used the exact same track with Azealia Banks’s lyrics under his own name. MasterD allegedly goes on to say that Diplo never reached out for permission to use the track prior to its release, and that it was never a collaboration. He does state that Diplo and Azealia reached out afterwards to try and work out a deal, but nothing ever came of it (which sounds similar to Munchi’s situation regarding “Esta Noche”). MasterD says a cease-and-desist letter was sent, but never answered.
Assuming this lawsuit is 100% real, there’s still a lot of he-said, she-said going on. On the one hand, Diplo’s part of the movement that put on the Dutch bubbling genre, and says that he’d been playing “Mad Drumz” in his sets, to the point where he wanted to release MasterD material on Jeffree’s (although it looks like that never happened – maybe that was a by-product of this sitiuation). On the other hand, MasterD seems adamant that Diplo never reached out to him until after the song was released.
This can end up being another situation where hip-hop mixtape rules don’t apply to the dance music realm. Coming from a hip-hop background, it’s very rare that you hear of a hip-hop producer suing a rapper for using a beat on their free mixtape (although that Mac Miller / Lord Finesse situation got real). MasterD is suing Amazon, Best Buy, and other outlets, but was Fantasea even legitimately sold in outlets? While we do live in a world where Lido’s remix of Disclosure’s “Latch” being removed from SoundCloud is a very real thing, it’s hard to gauge how much money MasterD would be losing from the YouTube views and free downloads of a track Azealia rapped on. In the end, MasterD definitely feels wronged, and while there’s no real word on why he’s suing Diplo now, if Azealia Banks is included in the lawsuit, or word from Diplo (we have reached out), we’ll keep you posted on how this develops.