Caution: Profanity used in videos
The hip hop rapper, OG Maco recently went on the record in a Fader interview called “Everything You Don’t Know About OG Maco.” Aside from dissing fans of his extremely popular “U Guessed It,” he had some really harsh words for the makers of the Korean and Japanese “It G Ma“.
Regarding “U Guessed It,” in the interview OG Maco says (sanitized):
“… people hate to hear me say it. But, it’s only because people are so (explicit) stupid that that song is going. People are idiots! They only want to immediately enjoy your dumbest stuff. You put them on something higher, more lyrical or is deeper… they immediately try to push us out the way… because they don’t want to say ‘hey I’m stupid and I don’t understand this.”
And regarding “It G Ma,” (sanitized)
“That stuff was lame…. No! You’re honored when someone hits you up from across the world and says ‘your stuff is awesome and I’m gonna make another version of it.’ What they did was, they seen this (his song) ‘isn’t popping where I’m at, but we know this stuff is hard, lets make it in our language and lets just do it’.
He continues (sanitized):
You can’t even understand it! You don’t even know what the heck they saying … it’s f**king blackface. All they had to do was put some dark makeup on they face and people would have realized how racist it was.
“U Guessed It” released in August of 2014 on YouTube, has over 26 million views on YouTube. “It G Ma” released on January 1, 2015 on YouTube, by Korean hiphop label HiLite Records, has over 3 million views.
Imitation may be the highest form of flattery, but musicians can be a bit testy regarding copying or “being inspired by” their creations. Consider for a moment the 7.4 million dollars judgement awarded against Pharrell and Robin Thicke for sampling Marvin Gaye’s work in Blurred Lines.
So is OG Maco correct? Or, did he go a little too far? Should Keith Ape and co. have at least “paid homage?” Which is really what OG Maco wants, if you watch the interview.
The transfer of value between cultures is critical for our survival as a species. Some may call it cultural appropriation, but it’s human evolution, a shared destiny. Having said that, in journalism and almost all other trades, it’s important to cite another works or link others peoples work as references to ones work. Otherwise, it’s called plagiarism or stealing, and people get fired, or kicked out of school for that. So, why not in music?
When an artist clearly imitates another, they need to pay homage to the originators. Don’t rip another’s creation and call it yours without some kind of nod to that person. And, when it comes to quote-unquote black music…. music credited to African-Americans, the river runs deep.
“It G Ma”, ironically rhymes with OG Ma (without the -co), and means “Never Forget” in Korean. If you do wanna know “what dey saying” here‘s a video of “It G Ma” with sub-titles.
On the real, following the example of the #hiphopishop project, HiLite Records should reach out to OG Maco, and get these artists together over a calumet and bury the hatchet (both Native American references).