Those artists who love seeing their names under the writing credits when they did not really write the song may soon have to push their pen for real or come clean to their fans.
A group of Pop songwriters, including Justin Tranter, Emily Warren, Ross Golan, Amy Allen, Savan Kotecha, Joel Little, and Victoria Monét, in an open letter, called out Pop artists who demand a share of the publishing royalty, even if all they did nothing.
The letter pointed out that artists get to collect revenue from touring, merchandise, and brand deals
, while songwriters only have publishing as a source of income. They also alleged that writers are often bullied and threatened by artists and executives who want a share of the songwriting royalties.
The letter was organized by a group called The Pact, which pointed out something interesting. The practice of artists just getting credit for recording a song was started by Elvis Presley, who insisted on co-writing credits. Writers would go along with it because the common belief was that 50% of a hit song would get them more money than 100% of a song done by a lesser-known artist.
That is where the phrase "Change a word, get a third" came from. We have definitely heard of top Hip Hop producers changing a word, and then they get writing credit (looking at you, Puffy).
OH, YOU WRITE NOW?
This letter was directed at Pop artists, but if it works for Pop, I can see some of these "ghostwriters" turned "co-writers" deciding that being on the credits is not enough; they want all of their publishing.
We have seen some rappers who were very happy to have "ghostwriters," to then having a "co-writer, " to only getting help on hooks. Obviously, that progression is possible, but in some cases probably not. Those songs with 19 writers will end.
If this spreads to Hip Hop writers, it would shake the culture and I am here for it.
What do y'all think about this open letter, and do you think it will become an issue within Hip Hop?
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