1 Comment

Fantastic article - thank you. I have a long, hopefully interesting, related story...

I was a marketing manager at Elektra Records in the Uk when Missy Elliott's Get Ur Freak On came out...you may remember the lyric "copywritten so don't copy me"...the track basically coincided with DAWs and other music software suddenly becoming accessible, which meant mashups were just starting to be made and DJ culture was crossing over.

Well Missy's line catalysed every digital musician and DJ to make a mashup of the track- we had versions from George Michael to Booby Womack to AC:DC (My personal favourite).

I was a Hip-Hop DJ too so aware from my own experience how banging some of these were. It was an interesting time for Hop-Hop generally as it was becoming more mainstream and crossing over into house and other genres for the first time (side note - this had a lot to do with ecstasy suddenly becoming more common amongst the Hip-Hop community in the US...Missy's album wasn't called "Miss E...so addictive." for nothing.)

The European labels desperately wanted to put out a Missy mashup album that would have murdered the summer dancefloors across Europe, but the US labels and management would never have allowed it - I mean the rights clearances would have taken an eternity, we would have missed the opportunity.

So it happened without us anyway with white labels and CDRs being passed around and we lost all that brand and promo value. If anything it may have cannibalised or diluted our sales.

Expand full comment