Steely & Cleevie: Why They’re Going To Win
Que Xopa Mis Corazonzons,
Tu gatita favorita aqui, As promised I break down my thoughts on the case by Steely & Cleevie and why I think they will win. I hope you enjoy this, please comment, DM, etc your thoughts.
Sooooooo, the lights have been turned on huh? After 30 years Steely & Clevie(One of them has passed away forgive me I don’t know which is still with us) are coming for what I would say is rightfully there’s–but it’s complicated.
For those of you who need context, I implore you to please read this article by Dancehall Magazine: https://www.dancehallmag.com/2023/01/06/news/dancehall-producers-steely-clevie-takes-reggaetons-biggest-hitmakers-to-court.html
Continuing on, there are two main sounds to keep in mind when it comes to Steely & Cleevie:
• The Fish Market Riddim aka the instrumental behind Dembow
• Poco Man Jam Riddim
With these two riddims alone, DJ Chombo became DJ Chombo and DJ Playero became DJ Playero y ahi fue donde el desorden se comienza(that’s where the trouble starts). Look let’s face it, there isn’t a sound featured on either of these two riddims that you do not hear in Cuentos De La Cripta by DJ Chombo and The Playero mixtapes by DJ Playero–it just is what it is. So how did this happen you may ask? They’re DJs. These disc jockeys heard these riddims, DJ Chombo first–and created fun/club like songs to be enjoyed as we hear in his infamous hits like ‘Dame Tu Costa’. These Disc Jockeys did the following:
• Increased the BPM
• Rearranged the order of the sounds in the ridden
• Changed the pitch
• Isolated sounds of the riddim to become the focal point of a new track.
But none of these things include distorting these sounds so much that it became a brand new original frame work. In music, if the notes can still be traced back to a composition–in my professional opinion there is no innovation present–that is straight up rearranging and as such is subject to the confines of copyright.
As we know, 31 songs of Daddy Yankee, and a varied number of songs by Bad Bunny, Pitbull, Ozuna, Luis Fonsi and even more are under analysis of infringement in this suit and I really have to say–some of these songs are more justified than others.
30 whole years went by, but if you ask me the time means nothing. Music is evergreen and more importantly if copyright law in the US or more importantly in the state of California wants to let them take a crack at getting reparations due to them, who am I to argue.
Ahora, by here I have demonstrated maybe 3 reasons already why I believe they will win, I want to over-emphasize my point of composition: The reggaetoneros believe they have adjusted the original sounds enough that it has created an entirely new sound justified to stand on its own as a brand new composition. The reason why Steely & Clevie will win is because the entire basis of Reggaeton: Boom Chick Boom was nobody’s to touch but there’s. As long as there is a “Boom Chick Boom” as is in all Reggaeton in order to make it a Reggaeton at the very basis, then every Reggaeton song that exists is vulnerable to infringement.
I think it’s incredible (in a fascinating way) that this is happening because of the arguments throughout the years, the gaslighting of who created what, when at the absolute bottom line–the spine of Reggaeton Poco Man Jam, Pounder, Fishmarket Riddims all comes from Jamaica.
On this very same note, this is what Panamanians have been saying for years and something that maybe El Chombo should look into. Not only did Panamanians translate Jamaican sayings because.. they understand and speak Patois fluently but in the moments when Panamanians and Jamaicans were in the studio together, Panamanian innovation was part of the creation of some of Reggaeton’s DNA as we know it today but that’s a whole other direction and problem.
With all of this said, I believe … with no doubt at all that Steely & Clevie will win. I actually told Bad Bunny’s arrogant ass lawyer that he should pay while he tried to gaslight me and say that all of this music comes from Africa…. and that there isn’t any proof that Jamaicans immigrated to Panama LOL que imbecil. Do all songs deserve to give the same amount of rights away? No because some copied more elements than others. In fact I’d argue some songs on the list are honestly a stretch when it comes to claiming infringement. But again, if it boils down to the boom chick boom at the very minimum–everybody is about to pay up.
Pues si mi gente, these are my thoughts–please let me know yours.
I’m excited for more to become apparent in the future whether its through the trial or my own book coming soon.
Thanks for being here and for reading. I’m knocking out the list of content I promised I would post here–so en eso ester. To be honest, I don’t want to upload the Harvard clips without the really cute intro I have been designign/planning but also, I know I know I am taking forever. Getting a grip! LOL.
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