UPDATED WITH VIDEO EVIDENCE, ORIGINAL POST BELOW
Okay, first off – here is Black Spade’s side of the story for the first time since the original e-mail. Note that everything else in the original post and subsequent comments under my name were my thoughts, opinions and words. So here are his:
Credit due to Made Monarchs for putting the video together.
On the other side of things… after two days of dodging questions and beating around the bush, Charles Hamilton finally came through on his word and uploaded the ProTools session files for his version of the “Shinin’” track. Below is a video the homie Primuts Luta of AvantUrb made showing that Black Spade’s original beat is sitting right there in the very file Charles himself uploaded, titled “08 – Shinin’” as it appeared on the beat CD and all.
So what this means is that Charles Hamilton, one way or another, took Black Spade’s original composition (note its a stereo track and not original source files) and added other elements to it. Now, all in fairness – what most likely happened was Charles was given the Black Spade beat on a CD by a mutual friend or something, and he used the beat thinking it was either that person’s beat and they were cool with it, or he thought it was the original break itself (since Spade did re-create it and sing it to mimic the original).
Not a big deal, right? However – Charles should’ve just said that shit from the jump and this wouldn’t have even been an issue, but he didn’t. He claimed that he did the beat all by himself straight from the original record, that the voice heard on his song was a filter and not Spade’s (note there’s no filtered voice part in those sessions), etc. So now this kid’s credibility is completely shot and I can only hope that people continue to treat him as such from here on out.
This is 2009. We are WELL into the internet age at this point. You CANNOT get away with blatant bullshit like this and not expect to get called out and exposed for it.
So in closing – I hope this a lesson for everyone. True artists – please be careful about sending out your demo beat CD’s, uploading tracks to your MySpace, etc. Watermark your shit, date it, copyright it, whatever – just make sure you don’t get Charles Hamilton’ed. And for all the fraudulent artists out there trying to pull similar jack moves – stop.
Okay… so you guys know me, I usually play it cool on artists that I’m not into and instead, stick to supporting & promoting those that I do feel. But in this case, enough is enough – this Charles Hamilton shit needs to end already. And I’m not even tripping off of his personal life shit like a lotta people do – i.e. wearing pink, trying way to hard to make his fascination with Sonic characters sound deep when its not, his little schoolgirl blog writing style, etc. All of that is whatever to me – I’m talking strictly music and his career. Besides being massively underwhelming and suspiciously overrated as an “artist” – this dude has time and time again shown both a general lack of knowledge in hip-hop, as well as a arrogant disregard and overall lack of respect for it. You should already know how I feel about that wack ass mixtape he did over Dilla beats. And oddly enough, he left a comment replying to that post even though I never said his name in it and what he said just further confirmed that he is a newjack and doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about. Saying that he “anticipate[s] buying a real CD if it should drop” over a year and a half after the CD’s release date… ?!!?? LMnonpinkAO.
But whatever, I said my peace in my reply back to him, stayed cordial and kept it moving. Since then, I’ve been hearing a lot of stories about him being on some overall shady shit – jacking different producers’ beats and saying he did them, showing up unprepared for gigs & trying to use the opening act’s live band for his own set, starting YouTube/blog beefs with more established rappers, etc. But the e-mail that I got this morning from St. Louis producer/MC and Fresh Selects alumni, Black Spade, was the nail in the coffin as far as my tolerance for this dude.
Basically, Charles jacked a beat straight from Black Spade’s MySpace player and rapped over it, released the song on one of his endless barrage of half-assed & disposable mixtapes, and ironically ended up performing the song right in front of Black Spade at SXSW the other week. So Spade approaches him after the show saying that he did that beat but liked what he did with it (his opinion, not mine), asked where he got it from, etc. So the jig is up, right? Nope! Aparently, this fool Charles still tried to act like he made that beat and even went on to say that it was HIM singing on there, when anyone who’s ever heard a Black Spade song can clearly recognize that voice as Spade’s.
So with Charles refusing to admit that he took the beat from Black Spade, I’ve decided to post both of them here for you to decide for yourself. Below is Black Spade’s demo beat and then Charles’ song – both of which are coincidentally called “Shinin’.” Besides the different mix, you’ll notice that Charles’ song also has an intro before the beat drops – that’s something that Spade only included on the track when he uploaded it to MySpace, which is how he knows thats where Charles got it from. I’ve included the full e-mail I received from Black Spade after the jump to further explain the story and to seperate his thoughts on Charles from my own.
Black Spade aka Stoney Rock “Shinin’ (rough mix)”
Charles Hamilton “Shinin’”
Now I know beat jacking is nothing new – its probably as old hip-hop itself. But that doesn’t make that shit okay – especially if the thief in question can’t even own up to it when they’re not only caught in their lie, but even given props for the song. And this instance aside, the only reason this kid’s manufactured buzz has worked for him so far is because not enough people have been calling him out on his bullshit from the beginning. Thankfully, more people have been speaking out lately, namely Rhymefest, Xplosive World, and even former supporter, Karen Civil (although she quickly removed her post from her blog the same day it went up).
And I know this isn’t the only story of Charles pulling this type of shit with someone else’s beat – so if you know of a similar situation or just want to add your two cents on the issue, leave a comment and lemme know.
FULL STORY: Check the full e-mail from Black Spade SEE BELOW
SUGGESTED READING: Xplosive World’s “The Hamiltonization Falsification”
So this is the beat Charles Hamilton CLAIMS he created. In short, when I was in Austin to perform and check out SxSW, I caught his set. He performed one of his tracks, ‘Shinin,’ which I thought was dope. However, come to find out the instrumental that he used for that track is a beat I produced a while back. After he was done performing, I let him know that I produced the beat and asked him where he got it from. In the back of my mind I know that the only place he really could have gotten it from was off my MySpace page. When I told him I produced the track and liked his lyrics, he still continued to say that HE produced the track with some dude….FALSE. He said he cleared the sample and that he is the one singing ‘Shinin’ in the background and also that his homeboy was playing the keys on the track.
Now mind you, the background ‘Shinin’ vocals that he claims he laid were not laid in the studio at all. I know this because I sampled them by singing directly into the MPC.
Basically, the Frankie Beverly & Maze sample at the beginning is from when I put the beat up on MySpace. The whole point of putting that part in the track was to show that I was about to produce, from that part, my own version of the sample. So, if you don’t hear the Frankie Beverly & Maze sample in the MP3 I am sending you, that is why.
Black Spade aka Stoney Rock”