Pirates of the UK: The search for producers Treasure

No it’s not another epic featuring Captain Jack Black; this one in fact stars you.

That is if you fall into the category of a Pirate?

This isn’t skull and crossbones business; this is theft, piracy if you like, of the secret Treasure known as UK & US House music producers tracks.

Late 2008 heading into 2009 saw the birth of a trend emerge in the UK, budding Musicians/pretend producers/artists/mc whatever you want to call them, have found it ok to take an up and coming or existing track spit bars on it aka chat fart (in some cases) and claim it as their “Riddim” to be released through the underground grapevine in the quest for those 5 minutes of fame.

Imagine just for a second if one these tracks were to be bigger than we could imagine, the interviewer turns to the artist/mc/whatever? and says:

“So where did you get your inspiration?”

“How did you go about making the beats, bass and everything fit together?”

What would be the answer? Even the most brazen pirate wouldn’t answer it was inspiration through blood, sweat and tears in front of my keyboard and Logic/Cubase/Reason/Pro tools!

More like… “Boyyyy man was having a laugh over this beat and thought it sounded good so I just ran wid it still….. true dem man thought it was nang I emailed it to couple funky dj’s innit”

How can you feel that hijacking someone’s inspiration and talking over the top of it makes it yours? Some might say it’s the lyrics – please don’t make me quote, some people might get embarrassed. If I stole from your house it doesn’t make anything mine, it makes me a thief!

This isn’t the Reggae industry, we don’t have artists giving their take on a dropleaf riddim, or a taxi riddim. One producer, one track.

It has long been said that creativity is the key, what will send this scene to an early grave is the lack of it! How many nursery rhyme tunes were posted on you tube and facebook after Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes? How many Dance move/Skank tunes have there been since?

I remember someone at school that used to hate me copying their homework if I didn’t do mine (I was bad like that lol), If I were a music producer and someone took my beat I think I’d feel like that kid used to, that someone took or copied my work and is getting props from it.

I think to the some of the scenes current producers in the U.K. the likes of Apple, Footsteps, and at least two of Lil Silva’s beats that have been held to ransom by Pirates, reworking it with a 16 bar or the steps to new dance move. How must they feel?

Many of us, the slightly older crowd, came up through the raving ranks. Through the times of Jungle, D&B, and Garage and can remember the versatility and range of tracks that made these genres as successful as they were and last for as long as they did or have.

The music we listened to over those years has no doubt influenced many of the sounds we hear today, for the young guns coming up through grime and now funky, if the message is one of support for unofficial mc/skank tracks using a Apple or Silva banger then that’s exactly what some will do in order get in the game!

We now have a whole catalogue of these tunes!!

This scene is still relatively quite new as many would agree, and has yet to hit the heights of the number ones and top tens achieved in UK Garage, but there is no reason its potential cannot be reached if the sound is creative and innovative.

This is not mc bashing, grime hating, skank hating or any kind of hating, and although some of you may have read through this, there will be the odd few that read the above line and miss the point that says NOT HATING OF ANY KIND!

There are enough singers, MC’s with catchy one liners, and Producers in this scene to keep it progressing and remain one of the fastest growing underground forms of UK Music. Collaborating is something that I would encourage, imagine your favourite singer or mc making a big tune with your favourite producer? It can only be a good thing!

To take something and use it as your own is not collaborating, and could ruin a fruitful relationship if permission was not sought after before use.

I leave you now with a few definitions, food for thought maybe.

Theft – (noun): the act of stealing; the wrongful taking and carrying away of the personal goods or property of another.

Pirate – (noun): a person who uses or reproduces the work or invention of another without authorization

Creative – (adjective): resulting from originality of thought, expression

Article by: Ghost-writer