“Don’t worry if I write rhymes, I write checks!”
Via Joel Lindsey, a story that makes you think twice about just how much of a songwriter your favorite singer/songwriter really is. Money quote:
“How can someone look in the mirror and know they didn’t do something and their name is on it? For money? For credit? It’s a lie.”
This being the music industry, money is of course a factor, since the writers of hit songs can earn more than the singer over the long term. But today’s singers also press for writing credit because it gives them more of a cachet, presenting them as more of a “real artist” in comparison with a star who doesn’t write a note.
Shropshire says that many artists will only allow songwriters to work on an album in return for song credit, and “if they do write, they ask for more publishing than they honestly contributed … it is the way it is.”
As with so many other music-industry trends, the King helped this one along too.
The practice has been prevalent for decades. Elvis Presley’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker, maneuvered to give the King songwriting credits on early hits like “Love Me Tender” even though he never wrote a word. James Brown was sued by an associate over song credits. Lauryn Hill settled a lawsuit by a group that claimed she improperly took sole production and writing credit on her Grammy-winning album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.” And Diddy seemed to acknowledge claims that he wasn’t really writing his raps in the “Bad Boys for Life” song with the brushoff line: “Don’t worry if I write rhymes, I write checks!”
The whole thing is here.Email this Post