Cardi B Offered A British Rapper A $1 Royalty Payment For Using Her Beat On An Old Song

As much of the music fan discourse on Twitter over the past week focused on royalty payments as a result of Kelis’ dispute with Beyonce over “Energy” — what they are, how they work, and who deserves them — it was probably only a matter of time until the discussion expanded to include other stars, as well.

As it turns out, Cardi B saw the searchlight swing in her direction thanks to a 2015 freestyle called “Cheap Ass Weave.” Cardi independently released a video for the song to YouTube long before she had blown up from her Gangsta Bitch Music Vol. 1 and 2 mixtapes, but the track still showcased her brash wit and unabashed charisma over a beat taken from British rapper Lady Leshurr’s single “Queen’s Speech 4,” released earlier that year.

Perhaps spurred by the ongoing debates about royalties, Leshurr tweeted about not being paid for Cardi’s use of the beat when popular Twitter fan account @girlsinrap recalled “Queen’s Speech 4” on the seven-year anniversary of its release. When a fan noticed it sounds just like “Cheap Ass Weave” (because, again, it’s a freestyle over the same beat), Leshurr replied, “You mind asking Cardi if she can break me off a likkle change she used my beat/idea before her big break and is now a millionaire and I got paid 0.”

Cardi, who apparently either follows Leshurr or was alerted by one of her fans, cheekily responded, “I made like 2 dollars of that song ….you want the other dollar ?”

Although it seems pretty clear that both were only partially serious (both their songs highlight their shared sarcastic senses of humor), Leshurr followed up, saying, “ould b nice but tbh I just wanted my credit & it’s mad I had to tweet banter 4 a response when I dm u years ago about it. I was cool wen I thought it was just YT cover but it’s on streaming sites as ‘cheap azz weave’ nw & urs comes up b4 mine so yes dollar & credit pls.”

Cardi, as always, was ready with a receipt, though, posting proof that Leshurr herself had already acknowledged that Cardi shouted her out in the song while also noting that any versions on DSPs were unauthorized and would be removed. “I don’t find the song on apple,” she wrote in a now-deleted response. “but it’s on any streaming service I will be makin sure it’s taking down including YouTube.” But because Cardi is Cardi, she couldn’t resist taking one last parting shot. “I will also make sure I send you your dollar.”

If only Cardi could handle her other copyright issues so easily. She’s has a week to look for a new lawyer after a lawsuit over her GBMV1 cover was postponed due to her original lawyer’s health issue. In that case, a California man whose tattoo was photoshopped onto a model on the cover is suing for $1 million for unauthorized use of his likeness.