has learned of a potentially
controversial situation that has developed involving the A&R department at
indie powerhouse label Koch Records, producers who have worked on recent
releases for the label, and both former and present Koch artists who
feel they have been wronged by the label’s practice of placing the same beats
on multiple artists albums.

HipHopDX spoke exclusively with some of the invested
parties in this situation: rappers AZ and Jha Jha (formerly of Dipset),
producer J. Waxx Garfield, and Koch A&R rep Bob Perry.

The current contentious situation that has developed between
Koch’s A&R department and some of its artists began yesterday (April
8th) with the release of singer Ray J’s second solo album on Koch,
All I Feel.

Upon listening to track #11 on the CD, “Real Nigga”
featuring Styles P (above), fans of AZ might be surprised to discover
that the same track used for “Go Getta,” featuring Ray J (below),
that was included on AZ’s most recent Koch-backed release, Undeniable
[click to listen],
was re-used (sans AZ) for Ray J’s album, which was released just
one week after AZ’s.

It was very disrespectful [what they did],”
says AZ of the decision to take one beat and fashion two songs out of
it. “I already had a shouting match with them. And Bob Perry [was
the one that
] pulled that off right there. It was disrespectful,
because you gotta understand…me and Ray J had that record recorded
[toReal Nigga”].”

While the same J. Waxx Garfield produced beat can be
heard fueling both tracks, the version of the song that appears on Ray J’s
album features Brandy’s baby brother singing “real nigga” in place of
“go getta” on the cut’s chorus before launching into the same sung verse that
can be heard opening AZ’s “Go Getta.” And where AZ’s rhymes can
be heard trailing Ray J’s singing on “Go Getta,” Styles P is the
sole spitter heard on “Real Nigga.”

That was the deal, basically,” says Koch’s
urban A&R director of the past four years, Bob Perry, regarding Ray
and AZ sharing a beat. “Ray J and AZ both
record at my studio and Ray J picked the track from J
]. So, he starts recording the song. And his
vision for the song is he wants to put a rapper on the song
. And so he
records his part
, ‘I’ma go getta, go getta,’ and AZ
comes thru
. He’s like, ‘Yo, let me jump on that.’ So
AZ gets on the song
, they got a song and it’s done. Two or
three days later I see Ray J again
, [and] he’s like, ‘Bob,
I want to switch up the song. I don’t like the hook. I want to
change the hook and I wanna use a different rapper
. I don’t wanna use AZ,
I wanna use Fabolous.’”

According to Bob, he then proceeded to explain to Ray
that the song was already planned for inclusion on AZ’s
forthcoming project. “And he’s like, ‘No sweat, let’s just do
two versions
. I’ma have my version for my album the way that I want it,
and AZ can have his version the way he wants it for his album.’”

AZ however asserts he was never informed of these
plans for the track, a claim his A&R disputes. “I think A tends to hear
shit the way he wants to hear it
,” says Perry. “He got a J.
track and a Ray J hook for free
, soWe didn’t
give him the track for free so we couldn’t use it again
. We said, ‘Hey,
we know you did this, we’re cool with you using it, but that
doesn’t mean that we’re not gonna do something else with it
.’ I don’t
think it’s that serious
[of a situation]. I don’t know how many
people are gonna buy both
[Ray J and AZ’s albums].
I don’t think it’s a big news story.”

The two songs’ one producer, J. Waxx Garfield, was
equally unimpressed with the implied seriousness of this situation when asked
for his thoughts on AZ’s song becoming Ray J’s. “Yeah, so?,”
replied the man behind countless classic creations including The LOX’s
“Money, Power & Respect.” “[Ray J’s version] is hot
. [Laughs]. Yeah, I knew [that the beat would be used
for both songs
]. I don’t know if it was clear [to AZ that
was happening
]. I gotta talk to A. I thought A knew what was
going on

While AZ apparently didn’t know what was going on, J
insists the producers who submit tracks to Perry for his artists do
know of this track-sharing practice, and the current Koch in-house
beatmaker remains steadfast in refusing to throw his production guarantor under
the bus. “I can’t do that to Bob,” says J. “He was
there when I needed him
. He does things appropriate to resolve a
. [Laughs]. Sometimes it ain’t kosher, but it gets done.”

The Dipset’s former femme fatale, Jha Jha, was
the first artist to publicly claim that Mr. Perry’s business practices
were far from kosher. Roughly a year ago Jha was in Perry’s
Brooklyn recording studio at Bob’s request to write hooks for songs that
would eventually appear on the most recent releases by Jha’s then
crewmates Hell Rell and 40 Cal. “[Bob] pulled me
away from that session
,” recalls Jha, “and was like, ‘Jha
, I got this crazy beat for you…You gotta do something with it.’”

Perry often has artists record songs in his own
studio at his own expense and then takes the recordings to Koch for possible
placement, and apparently Jha Jha was under the impression that her
recording during that session in Perry’s studio would too be placed
somewhere, but according to Jha, “[Bob] never talked
about the record again
. So I’m like, ‘Bob, what
happened with the record
?’ And he was like, ‘Oh, everybody
[at Koch] loved the record, but it’s too big to put on
a Koch scale
. Let me see if I can get you this thing with Capitol.’
All these lies.”

Perry insists that he did indeed take Jha Jha’s
record to Capitol Records for consideration, but the label chose to pass
on releasing the song. But a few months after the song’s completion, Jha Jha
received an email boasting a new record from Foxy Brown entitled “Lights
Out.” “So I listened to it, and it’s the same exact record [as
],” she explains. “And I’m like, ‘Wow, this guy just
sold my record

Not exactly says J. Waxx Garfield. “Jha Jha,
I don’t wanna say it like this, but she’s a liar,” he asserts. “She
didn’t write the chorus
[to the song], that’s my artist Kira that
did the chorus
. That was Kira’s song at first, [a song]
calledRoller coaster.’ She wrote the chorus. All Bob
did was have Jha Jha reference it
. She’s talking about that was
her record, that’s a lie

Perry’s version of the events that led to one beat
becoming three tracks coincides with J’s, reiterating J’s claim
that Jha was merely referencing a song (also known as “demo-ing a
track”) for him. “She did a reference to [the track],” he
explains. “It happens all the time. We have songwriters in the studio.
They go in the booth [and] reference the lyrics. And
then we show
[the song] to an artist or show it to a label. That’s
what she did

Bob contends Jha Jha knew she was referencing
a track for other potential song suitors, and having not paid for the track it
was not hers to claim ownership of.

He further explains that Kira’s project eventually
stalled which led to him removing her verses from the song to reconfigure the
track as a rap record for Foxy Brown, who was at the time contemplating
her move to Koch. “ [But] the negotiations with Foxy
[to sign to Koch] were dragging on for months, like
four/five months
,” Perry explains. “Meanwhile [Foxy’s]
got the song and I never heard anything
[from her regarding the track]

According to Bob, Jha Jha then came to him
asking for a radio-friendly track that could potentially woo a label into
signing her. And to that request, he provided her the ‘Roller coaster’ track
with Kira’s hook still in the song. “[But] two or three weeks
[Jha Jha recorded her version of the song] we
close the deal with Foxy
,” he explains. “And by the way, turns
out she loves the song and she’s already recorded to it
. They had just
been holding back because they didn’t know if they were gonna do the deal with

[Koch]. So, then she gets locked up and goes to jail.
Now I gotta make a Foxy Brown album, we’ve already paid her.
And guess what, there’s only ten songs to work with, that’s
all she did before she got locked up
. So what am I supposed to do say,
Oh, Jha Jha referenced vocals on this song so I shouldn’t use the
version that Foxy Brown recorded

While Perry concedes that Jha Jha was indeed
left out of the loop regarding the track’s trek from her to Foxy, he did
attempt to clarify the situation with her after she went to the press
complaining of his alleged shadiness in the handling of said track. “Once
all these news items started hitting
[the net last fall] I tried
to reach out to her and say
, ‘Hey, what are you doing?’ And
she never called me back

J. Waxx Garfield was stunned by Jha Jha’s
decision to take her dispute with Perry public, especially after all of
the career aid J contends Bob was providing Jha. “He
would give
[Jha Jha] free studio time,” he reveals. “He
was looking out
! I didn’t understand why she did that.”

“[Bob] called my phone,” Jha Jha
admits of Perry’s attempt to reconcile their differences. “He was trying
to talk
. It’s a little skit on my mixtape [Git It Girl Vol. 2:
The Black Barbie Edition
] about him. I recorded one of his voice
[and put it on the mixtape].”

Unmoved by Perry’s pleas, Jha has since
returned to her hometown of Miami to run her own company, Git It Girl
, in conjunction with Déjà Vu Entertainment, and is
prepping the release of a new single, “Money Talks,” as well as a new album.

And it now looks as though AZ might be following in Jha
’s footsteps and ceasing his work with Perry due to what he sees
as an A&R’s blatant disrespect for the artists he is employed to assist. “He’s
been disrespectful from day one
,” AZ says of Perry. “There’s
been a lot of mix-ups with a lot of people’s music that comes in and out of

[Perry’s] studio. I think his care level for the game
is zero
. He don’t give a fuck, all he wanna do is get records out,
sell records. He don’t give a fuck how artists look.”

An accusation Bob vehemently denies. “AZ
and I have made
[his] last three albums together,” he
reminds. “And there was a similar situation withThe Hardest,’ [which
] on Styles album [The Ghost Sessions] and it’s
also on
[AZ’s] album. It’s just the way it
. In order to get the deal done we had to use [the song] for
both albums
. We’re an independent label. We’re working with a
limited budget
, and in order to do what we had to do we said, ‘Alright,
let’s do two sets of vocals. We use one set on A’s album and we’ll
use one set on Styles album
.’ No one’s trying to get over on
. No one’s trying to steal anything from anybody.”