At The Blacksmithed, we are all about building the Eastern Cape hip hop industry. You should know that by now. We’re all about collaboration and working with the EC hip hop community to help every practitioner in it get the most of out what they do through our platform. We’re all about fair play and healthy competition between artists/producers/etc. because we believe it encourages people to create quality to win over crowds, which improves the general quality of product coming out of the EC hip hop industry.
Having said that, we are also really not fans of people who abuse it. We hate that. Very much. They’re destroying things. And it’s not often we come across people who are constantly doing that despite talking to them. We’re really not fans of outing people to the public. It takes a lot for us to do that. But if we don’t, those very same people who dedicate themselves to relentlessly achieve their own agenda the expense of others – and thus the EC hip hop industry – will be free to carry on keeping the industry from progressing any further.
We recently received a beat tape from East London producer LonzTooStoned (he also featured on our Sounds From The East beat tape this past May) for exclusive listening. We made the mistake of assuming that this tape was for public distribution and we regrettably posted it up to our music site. This was against the wish of Lonz, for which we have duly apologised. We value the relationships we’ve made with practitioners in the community and we do not want to damage that in any way with anyone we deal with. We proceeded to take the beat tape down and it is now available exclusively for streaming on his SoundCloud page.
He then contacted us again to report the conduct of an individual who had reached out to him regarding his beats. Lonz explained the situation and requested that the artist does not make use of his beats as he sells them. The artist’s reply was rather shocking and disrespectful:
Here is an artist blatantly telling a producer off regarding their OWN beats. How does that work? How does an artist feel entitled to another producer’s beats DESPITE their disapproval? This is theft. In the literal sense.
In addition to that: as an artist, how is this healthy for your brand? In what way did they believe that this will help their brand? The second they sent that message, they entered LonzTooStoned’s bad books. He doesn’t even know who Lonz knows. Lonz could easily be a very influential person in the EC hip hop industry and this artist just ruined his chances of getting put on. Even worse: he’s ruined it with everyone Lonz knows. A practical example is that Lonz sent us this screenshot. Look at what it’s resulted for him now.
We’ve come to learn that the person being dealt with here goes by the name of Prynce Myo Masuku, who we’ve come to understand is the rapper Blaqverse.
We know that he is a direct beneficiary of our platform. He is no stranger. He made the mistake of ripping our cover art verbatim and we had to tell him to change it because the cover was the intellectual property of a designer we hired. He also attempted to make use of every other producer’s logo on his site, potentially committing fraud using people’s brands without their consent.
We now understand that Blaqverse plans on making money from this tape. He is selling physical copies of the CD, profiting off the charity of Eastern Cape producers without their knowledge.
We do not approve of this kind of behaviour. Not at all. These are the steps one takes to destroy one’s own career. We never thought we’d have to blacklist artists from our site, but now we do.
Please learn from this. Protect your brand. Don’t be like Blaqverse.