J. Cole’s 4 Your Eyez Only released on Thursday night and, while most people seemed to enjoy simply listening to the project, one song created a war of words between a trio of producers as they argued over who really created the beat in the first place.
The dispute began when Twitter users began to question why Cole’s “Deja Vu” appeared to use the same beat as Bryson Tiller’s “Exchange.” The latter song was released as a single in March 2016 after originally appearing on the Kentucky native’s breakout project from 2015, Trapsoul. So, why would Cole rehash the beat from such a familiar song, one that charted on Billboard’s Top 40? According to Boi-1da and Vinylz, the producers behind “Deja Vu,” the beat for “Exchange” was lifted from them by Foreign Teck of The Mekanics, the production duo credited for working on Tiller’s tune.
“Maybe [Foreign Teck] can explain why to y’all why [Bryson Tiller’s] ‘Exchange’ and ‘Deja Vu’ sound similar… right [Vinylz]?” Boi-1da posted on Twitter.
We should appreciate him naming names because that caused Foreign Teck to respond with a string of replies. He questioned why Boi-1da would insert himself into a spat that only concerns Teck and Vinylz.
To which Boi-1da responded that Teck was a “thief” who was “really out here reverse engineering beats. It ain’t about money and placements, it’s the principle.”
Vinylz picked up the conversation from there, chiming in with his claims. “Lol thief .. all good tho.. our run continues as always with out stealing shit …we create not remake,” he wrote. He followed his initial tweet with another where he pointed out who he considers to be the culprit. “Me and @Boi1da made that ‘Exchange’ beat first. It was stolen from us by a thief named @ForeignTeck. Cole song was recorded before ‘Exchange.'”
He followed those up by later going into more details. “I sent this thief a video of me making the ‘Deja Vu’ beat..a week later he post a beat on ig with the same drums. I made him take it down. He said ‘I’m sorry bro.. I was inspired . I look up to you’ few months later he decides to remake the whole beat and give it to Bryson.”
Teck responded by implying the two producers were threatened by him, so they were “telling lies.” He initially tried to brush it all off by noting he didn’t have time to argue because he was more concerned with finding a suit for the Grammys. But, for whatever reasons, he decided to come clean first, tweeting then dealing his “honest” version of how he made the beat:
“Here’s how honest I am [Vinlyz] the drums off you know were definitely your drums I was 19yrs old and just really learning sh*t. ‘Exchange’ however [Vinlyz] I made myself and sent it to [Daniel Worthy] to finish. He got stuck on it and never sent it back. [T]he next day i added some quick drums [a]nd a bass line and exported it didn’t steal from you. and that’s that anyways man I’m off this.”
Plausible. But then Vinylz called another one of the Mechaniks’ productions into question, something Boi-1da mentioned as well.
From there, it all spiraled to a lot of back and forth between all three producers. Vinylz went on to send a shoutout to Tiller and explain there was no problem with the singer, just Teck. “I have no problem with producers being inspired and trying to sound like me,” he wrote, “but don’t steal my shit and put it out before me.”
Where this one ends up is anyone’s guess. During the course of their tweets, Teck claims Boi-1da and Vinylz of trying to “extort” him for publishing, while Vinylz countered that Teck offered to give them credit, which he took to be another sign that Teck had basically stolen the beat. Teck proceeded to mock the two producers for acting as if they invented certain sounds. “These are the same niggas that called out @torylanez when he BODIED ‘Controlla’ and dropped “Luv” cause they ‘invented’ the Caribbean sound lol,” he wrote. “Point is they think they own all bounces, all sounds and anything they have had influence on. Get over yourself fam.”
It’s not likely this will be the last time we hear of this one, not with Tiller’s “Exchange” performing on radio and his Trapsoul album doing very good numbers. Each one of those spins comes with money attached and chances are these producers are all having conversations with their managers and lawyers this morning.
Listen to Tiller’s “Exchange” and Cole’s “Deja Vu” below for comparison purposes.