Yesha Callahan

Janelle Monáe on Iggy Azalea Sample Rumors: ‘She Steals From Us, We Steal Back’

janelle-monae-jidenna-bet-awards-15-696x435

It’s hard to see how Janelle Monáe could get any more dope, but during a recent stop at New York’s HOT 97 to promote her Wondaland records crew and their Eephus tour, the songstress talked candidly about the role and responsibility artists in political movements, and the minor controversy that Jidenna’s “Classic Man” sampled Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy.”

https://twitter.com/IGGYAZALEA/status/619993636281937920

Although Jidenna said his smash hit didn’t actually sample Azalea’s tune, his team wanted to protect themselves from the perception that they used “Fancy” given the Marvin Gaye estate’s winning “Blurred Lines” lawsuit.

“Ever since the decision of Robin Thicke and Pharrell, we believe that it was important to make sure that we are safe,” he explained. “When that Robin Thicke verdict came out, we realized the game had changed in music. I’m glad we were safe.”

(The discussion happens around  the 9 minute mark)

When HOT 97 co-hosts Peter Rosenberg and Ebro joked that an Azalea lawsuit would been “ironic” given the rapper’s history of appropriating Black culture, things got interesting.

Rosenberg: Wouldn’t it have been ironic if Iggy Azalea had sued someone for having a record that sounded like “Fancy”?

Ebro: That’d have been so insane!

Monáe: Hey, she steals from us, we steal back.

Welp…I think that says it all.

  1. August 21, 2015 - Reply

    So then are they paying her or not? Jidenna made it sound as if it was just a rumor?

    • August 21, 2015 - Reply

      @_a_

      I couldn’t tell either. I’m wondering if maybe they gave her some upfront money to prevent her from staking any claims in the future.

      • August 22, 2015 - Reply

        @Me

        Hmm . . . wonder where my first comment went? Anywho, Iggy is credited on Classic Man. So yes, Janelle and Co. are paying her, which makes Janelle’s quip super stupid. “We steal right back . . .” You don’t pay for something that you “stole.” And according to Janelle, they didn’t even sample the song in the first place. So, they’re paying Iggy so she won’t sue. I ride for Janelle just as much as the next, but Iggy’s not the one looking dumb here.

    • August 21, 2015 - Reply

      @_a_

      They are paying Iggy, which makes Janelle’s drag attempt weak. Iggy is credited on “Classic Man”; so she gets a cut. If they didn’t sample the song, then Janelle isn’t stealing anything from Iggy.

  2. August 21, 2015 - Reply

    Let’s get back to our roots: BE MUSICIANS. Sampling is not our heritage. CREATING is our heritage. Chopping, screwing etc…is using scraps. Read, write, play. Know music theory. Understanding music is good for the brain.

    You don’t have to sweat litigation if you actually put in the hard work. The lawyers will get paid off of these fools (makes me wish I’d gone into this “game” on behalf of legitimate musicians).

    Also….Janelle is too beautiful to be real.

    • August 21, 2015 - Reply

      @BillipPhailey

      “Janelle is too beautiful to be real.”

      Yes! she reminds me of a black Tinkerbell.

    • August 21, 2015 - Reply

      @BillipPhailey

      Thank you for that, BP. Long gone are artists — popular artists, that is — who study music. I think musicians are some of the most brilliant people on the planet. I have mad respect for them.

      • August 22, 2015 - Reply

        @Noirluv45

        Also, I read where Janelle Monae has worked with Sandra Bland’s family in Chicago to stand up against police brutality. She and Sandra Bland’s mother led a Black Lives Matter protest in Chicago days ago. So, she is a very inspiring Sister.

    • August 23, 2015 - Reply

      @BillipPhailey

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    • August 26, 2015 - Reply

      @BillipPhailey

      Creating isn’t your heritage. Outside of some music that you created using white invented technology, blacks have contributed little to the world.

  3. August 21, 2015 - Reply

    Janelle Monae never bites her tongue. I am in love with her realness.

  4. August 21, 2015 - Reply

    I just have issue with people saying the blurred lines lawsuit changed the game. The game isn’t supposed to include using someone’s work without compensating them or their heirs.

    • August 21, 2015 - Reply

      @Ang

      Me too and I love the Wondaland artists but if you are not totally ripping off another artists work, a legend at that, like Thicke and Pharrell did then you have nothing to worry about.

    • August 22, 2015 - Reply

      @Ang

      But that’s what most ‘artists’ are doing anyway. Had Blurred Lines not been as big a hit, Marvin’s family would not have filed that lawsuit. Just like if ‘Empire’ was not as successful, Marvin Gaye Jr., and everyone else, would not be filing lawsuits claiming it was their idea.

  5. August 21, 2015 - Reply

    I was never impressed with that particular device of sampling but just about everybody does it.

  6. August 22, 2015 - Reply

    Here we go down memory lane again: Back in the day, musicians, music groups, even rappers had their own style. Once you heard the music you knew who it was. Nowadays, everybody sounds the same.

    • August 22, 2015 - Reply

      @paintgurl40

      Exactly. This is why I always believe in investments in the arts and music. Creativity and originality always bring out the best in musical expression.

  7. August 23, 2015 - Reply

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