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‘They Was Trying to Say I Was Monetizing Off the Record and I Wasn’t’: Jacquees Addresses Covering Ella Mai’s ‘Trip,’ Fans Can’t Decide Who Is to Blame

Jacquees is clarifying his stance on the drama surrounding his remix of singer Ella Mai‘s 2018 single “Trip,” revealing that the two used to be friends and insisting that he didn’t monetize his version of the song.

The “At the Club” singer’s version of Mai’s hit was a certified banger, and many feel that it’s because of that fact alone that Mai allegedly had the song removed from streaming sites, including YouTube and SoundCloud.

Singers Jacquees and Ella Mai. (Photos:@jacquees/Instagram, @ellamai/Instagram)

Although both artists appeared to leave the remix mess behind them, DJ Scream and Big Bank revisited the he-said-she-said during their Jan. 8 episode of “Big Facts,” beginning at 27:37.

During the show, the artist told the hosts that Mai was originally a fan of his and someone he considered a friend. “The dumbest s**t about that is, we was friends. I don’t think nobody know that,” he said. “I don’t think I ever talked about that…When I met Ella Mai she was already a fan.”

He went on to explain that they were initially introduced while he was touring with Chris Brown after Mai requested to meet him backstage, before claiming he gave her a heads-up about being interested in covering “Trip” and never sought to monetize the song.

“I think I DM’ed her like, ‘I love “Trip.”’ Imma redo the song,” the singer claimed. “And I remember when I put it out, she commented on it. She put all the fire on it, but I just feel like a couple people made her think that I was doing something wrong because she’s just now stepping into the game. N****s been doing remixes and covers forever, and they was trying to say I was monetizing off the record and I wasn’t.”

Ella Mai previously addressed the controversy surrounding the cover in 2018, when she told Hot 97 DJ Ebro that she plays no part in making decisions like what gets taken down from the Internet, at 8:07. “I don’t play any part in it. To be honest, I felt like my label made a statement, and there’s not really much else to say about it. People are going to take it how they want…I don’t want people to think different than how the actual situation is but a lot of it is people don’t actually know the real ins and outs of the industry. I can’t blame someone for not knowing something.”

She also confirmed that she doesn’t mind artists covering her music “at all,” however “when it comes to someone trying to monetize then it becomes a different issue on the label side, the whole business side. It’s never going to happen.”

To Mai’s point, Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and copyright infringement laws and rules exist for a reason. Under copyright infringement laws, “those who want to perform a cover version of a copyrighted song, set rates must be paid to the copyright owner to acquire “mechanical rights” to use the music.”

The streaming sites that removed Jacquees’ content were protected under DCMA, which established “protections for online service providers in certain situations if their users engage in copyright infringement, including by creating the notice-and-takedown system, which allows copyright owners to inform online service providers about infringing material so it can be taken down.”

Jacquees addresses “Trip” controversy on the “Big Facts” podcast. Photo: @bigfactspod/Instagram

Fans seemed to be split over who is to blame for the drama, with some saying Mai deserves her due, while others simply feel she’s upset because the self-proclaimed “King of R&B” did it better.

“He was making money off that gorl song. Fan or not she not letting you play with her coins”

“Ella Mai was really mad we liked his better 😩😭”

“Lawd please don’t have her release a song with a speech at the end because of this 😂”

“She was mad cause the song had just blew up she couldn’t even drop the video before you did to the remix 😭”

“Bruh you can’t expect to make profit off somebody song!!!! That’s where it went left buddy”

The mixup with Ella Mai may have resulted in Jacquees thinking twice about who he covers, but he gave the hosts a simple “Nah, hell nah, I can’t” when asked whether it makes him want to stray away from his signature remixes completely.

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