It’s almost unfathomable that someone would turn down $50,000, as well as a collaboration with it-girl Azaelia Banks and notorious tastemaker Diplo simply on principle, but that’s exactly what dance music producer Munchi did recently, and damn good on him for doing it. Diplo and Banks had been working with the Dominican-Dutch producer, who was born and raised in Rotterdam, on some tracks and had repeatedly leaked tracks without his permission, as well as publicizing his name and work on the tracks against his will. After Munchi publicly took issue with Banks releasing cover art and setting a date for the single and video for the track “Esta Noche” without his consent, Interscope eventually offered him $50,000 to use the track, which was double what they had originally offered. He turned it down flat, taking the dispute public and calling Diplo and Banks out on their behavior.
Munchi wasn’t done though, going after Banks’ credibility as an artist, but also challenging Diplo and Interscope for their part in the whole mess:
But while Twitter beef is all good and fun, Munchi’s official statement on the issue went a lot deeper into his gripes with Banks, Diplo, and Interscope:
“What is childish is the fact that I got disrespected 11 times in total and still they thought it was ok to just give me a sum of money for my integrity. You get buyed off for their disrespect and call it a day. Each time they told me something and put out something that was not discussed. In the end trying to blame me for something she put up in error by stating that this release could not be out today since I think she is in the Illuminati. I had to do this after the great amount of patience I’ve shown. The Interscope problem solver dude was actually pretty cool, I never talked to Azealia or her management, every time they would get me in contact with someone higher in Interscope. This is Interscope we are talking about. What’s up with this bitchshit. I am supposed to say “Oh, I’ll have to accept Azealia’s behaviour since she is an artist and can do whatever she wants.” Not happening. The reason why I did not reply to any of the Tweets is simple: I cannot blame the crowd for their ignorance in this situation. 1 thing that you do have to know is that I will always try to be straight up and be real with it. I tried, but got disrespected every single time.”
For a lot of people, both on Twitter and on the hiphopdx article’s comments section, the argument becomes one of fame, money, and influence, for both sides of the debate; people on Banks and Diplo’s side have taken on the tone of “Munchi is a nobody, he’s stupid to turn that money down, he’ll never be famous now” – and judging by Banks’ response, she’s taken the tone of “I’m more famous than you, you’re just hating, I can do what I want”, as well; the classic bully pulpit “I don’t even know who you are, hater” response. Which is bullshit – it’s bullshit when any rapper does it, it’s bullshit when Chris Brown does it, it’s bullshit when a Kardashian or Lindsay Lohan does it, it’s bullshit when any artist or fashion designer won’t hear an argument against themselves, retreating straight to the ego defense. But it’s especially disappointing with Banks, who’s a pretty dope artist, and someone we’d hoped for a little more from. Co-opting, appropriating, and arguably, white-washing someone else’s shit, be it a producer’s style, a new artist, genre or a cultural thing, has always been Diplo’s game, so that’s nothing new; he’s nearly as good at it as Shepard Fairey, and it’s how he got his rep as a cool-chaser in the first place. Hell, it’s not always bad, even. But it is what it is. If you couldn’t tell by the Blackberry commercials, Diplo values being DIPLO, and, like Shepard Fairey, feels that means he’s above, or even owns, the underground his whole aesthetic comes from. I’d love to hear more to the story; but I fear there really isn’t much to this, as it’s something I’ve seen before, over and over.
On the other side of the debate is the acknowledgement that yes, Banks, Diplo, and Interscope are on a level faaaaaaar above where Munchi is (and, to be honest, I hadn’t even heard of Munchi before this whole thing went down) and he may never reach that level, but that shouldn’t be the point. It shouldn’t simply be “whoever has more fans/twitter followers/money is right, regardless of the content of their argument” – that game has to end, and the easiest way for it to end is by supporting an artist like Munchi (who gives most of his music away for free, by the way) and not buying anything that comes off Interscope so that shit like this isn’t accepted anymore, and it’s not so surprising when someone turns down money for their artistry, and, more importantly, for the sake of their own self-respect as a human being.
So with that, here’s Munchi’s soundcloud: soundcloud.com/munchi_productions
And you can find more Munchi here: munchiproductions.blogspot.com
(It’s okay though, Diplo. We’ll gladly take the money if you wanna get rid of it, allmsayin.)Tweet