Muni Long Talks Being Underpaid as a Songwriter, Stealing Toilet Paper From Studio

In a Complex exclusive, the "Made for Me" artist discussed the financial hardships that she experienced as a songwriter.

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It was a long road for singer-songwriter Muni Long to get to where she's at today.

Fresh off the success of her new single, "Made for Me," the artist sat down with Complex, where she opened up about her songwriter beginnings. Before jumping into her Muni Long alter ego, she was originally known as Priscilla Renea and had songwriting credits for Rihanna ("California King Bed"), Ariana Grande ("Fake Smile," "Just Like Magic"), Chris Brown ("Don't Wake Me Up"), and more.

“Songwriters get beat up a lot,” Long says in the TikTok below. "For example, 'California King Bed'—through that song Rih was able to get an endorsement with Nivea. A very lucrative one to where she could go on tour and have all these things. I don't know the intricacies of her business so let's not, you know, misconstrue that, but a very small portion of that actually makes it to songwriters."


Muni Long talks about the mistreatment of songwriters #munilong

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Long also made it clear that writing hit songs doesn't guarantee instant wealth.

"Sometimes they don't feed you," she continued. "You're in this room for eight hours; you're hungry. I used to take toilet paper from the studio 'cause I ain't have no money," she said.

Long said that even food was hard to come by.

"No, literally, I used to empty the fruit bowl in my backpack," she added. "And then the money part—because a lot of people be like, ' make so much money.' You've got to understand there is a pipeline. So I might write a song today, and I won't see a dollar for two years. So what job do you know that you work on spec like that for that long?"

Accoridng to the singer, it would sometimes take years for her to get paid.

"Imagine going to work and you don't get your first check [until] two years after your first day," she explained. "That's crazy. You got to have a certain level of cray cray to keep doing that. Honestly, like the stuff I went through as a songwriter ... And I'm on the high side of the spectrum, where I'm getting cuts. I have people who know my track record and I'm still getting murdalized."

Long made her breakthrough in 2022 with the Grammy-winning R&B single "Hrs & Hrs," which appeared on Public Displays of Affection: The Album.

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