There's nothing wrong with spitting over someone else's beat, especially if you're coming up and can't afford to pay a producer. (That said, if you learn to produce yourself or link up with like minded producers you have a much better shot at impressing listeners with a fully original package.)

Jacking another rapper's beat and spitting over it has long been a popular approach on mixtapes, with Lil Wayne, at the height of his mixtape run, consistently spitting over the month's hottest track and outshining the original artist. In that scenario, the listener usually knows the original track, and as such it's fun to compare different takes on the same beat.

When it's the case of a bigger artist taking a smaller artist's beat and not paying credit, the situation gets murky. And when the bigger artist draws inspiration but then finds a way to get around paying any credit at all, as was the case with Drake on "Hotline Bling," don't be surprised when people start to take issue.


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