Thursday, December 18, 2008


I was browsing mix engineer/producer Ken Lewis' blog recently and I came across a post he had made regarding a significant amount of uncredited work he provided for Kanye's 808's & Heartbreak album.

I have not spoken with Ken or read his blog for a while now so I was unaware of his contribution to Kanye's new project but I do know he has provided extensive mixing and additional production for Ye's past three albums. As a producer, being uncredited is the only thing equal or sometimes worse than not being paid for your work.

Read some of what Ken wrote:
Kanye West's new album, "808's & Heartbreak" came out Monday and is set to debut #1 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart next week (my 4th #1 album of the year - Danity Kane, Day 26, Young Jeezy). However, the title of the album holds special meaning to me, at least the HEARTBREAK part, because, once again, my work is all over the album, but my name is missing completely from the credits. UGH. This happened to me as well on Gold Digger which i created music for, but my name was absent from the credits.

I contributed music to "Heartless" (the steady staccato flute is mine), "Welcome to the Heartbreak" (the piano line is me), and My biggest contribution to "808's...." is on the song "Robocop". There's a string section that starts the song, its a simple steady marching string section. Thats not me. Thats Larry Gold's string section. when the chorus comes in ("OK, OK, OK, you'll never stop it now") the big soaring orchestra in that section is all 100% me. and the orchestral music underneath the "Cause I dont want a Robocop...." is also all me.

I was called in to work on the songs very near the completion of the album. In fact, as soon as i would finish something, and Kanye would approve it, I would send it straight off to Manny Marroquin in LA so he could drop it into the mixes (I think Manny mixed the whole album). I hope and suspect that the lateness with which i was called to contribute is why my name got left off, as i assume the credits and artwork had already gone to press. I was literally working on this album the first week of November and it was released on November 24th, which is virtually unheard of in the record making world. Though actually, the same time frame happened when i was working on Young Jeezy's album, and they managed to get me properly credited.

All i can say about it is that i love the album, and I'm very proud to be a part of it, but it is utterly depressing to not be properly credited for my work time and time again. People like me survive and thrive from the credits we earn, and when that credit is left off, its like taking money straight out of my pocket from lost future work. I will still of course put the credit on my discography, but the millions of albums that should have my name in them, won't. What can i say, Welcome To The Heartbreak.

Read the rest HERE.

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