Jalil Hutchins, lead vocalist for the Brooklyn Hip Hop trio Whodini, recently spoke with the Murder Master Music Show about the group’s longevity in the industry and his feelings about the group’s music being sampled frequently by rappers throughout the 1990s.
“It’s magical, and then it’s painful,” he said of the group’s career. “It’s a blessing man. It’s one of the blessings that I did ask for God and he answered, to make our songs last through the length of time. That’s the blessing. The other part is rough…Things happen. Everything is real. But the actual performing of the songs thirty years later, it’s magnificent man. I couldn’t ask for much more.”
“Truthfully, as an artist, in one perspective, I didn’t really like anybody touching my stuff,” he said. “I was very selective about that only because I didn’t have the rights to lease it out to them, those rights came from the record company. If it would have been me owning and giving permission totally, it might have only been one person that ever sampled us and got away with it. I would say two, but really one. I would have said Nas. Even though there was a big check from Tupac when he made—pardon me—’Fuck Friends.’ He would have never touched my song doing that. I’m saying it because he made ‘Fuck Friends’ and I wouldn’t have allowed that [if it was] me granting permission. The check was nice. The check was real nice. But I wouldn’t have allowed it.”
Expanding on his feelings about being sampled, Hutchins addressed Nas’ “If I Ruled The World,” which sampled the bass-line from Whodini’s “Friends.”
“I love ‘If I Ruled The World,’” he said. “It’s no disrespect to cats but this is my track! I didn’t borrow it and take it from nobody so I’m sensitive about who touches my stuff. That’s just me truthfully. I sat in the house and made that track myself. I’m sensitive about certain things. It’s the same way when you look at Prince. He only lets one percent of people touch his tracks. He’s sensitive ‘cause those are his tracks. He likes to look at what you’re trying to put on my track. ‘Well, I don’t want that.’ ‘Well, we got this amount of money.’ ‘I don’t want that.’ You know? I want you to give respect to my track. I’m in that same vain, put it that way. The list goes on from Nas and Scarface to OutKast, Southside. I got the statements from all of them but none of them would have ever had the rights but Nas…It wasn’t the person per se, it was really what you putting on it.”