Cardi B emerged with her latest bop, “Up” yesterday. It immediately went viral with fans and critics alike praising Cardi for the infectious, dance-friendly anthem. Unfortunately, not everyone was feeling it the same way. At the wee hours of the morning, Jersey rappers Mir Fontane and Mir Pesos found themselves in a state of confusion. The hook to Cardi B’s new single sounded eerily familiar to their September 2020 single, “Stuck.” “If it’s up, then it’s up, then it’s up, then it’s stuck,” raps Cardi on the record. As fans flooded Cardi’s Twitter mentions, she and Fontane had a quick exchange on IG going through the song’s history. Cardi said she teased the record on Aug. 7th, 2020 but Mir quickly pulled out receipts revealing that an official preview for the song was released a day prior.
The term, “up if it’s stuck” has been used in rap lyrics before Mir Fontane or Cardi released their respective records. But that isn’t the issue. Mir Fontane explained that the similarities between his record and Cardi’s are far beyond the term itself.
“It’s not even the quote, ‘it’s up if it’s stuck’ because I’m not trying to say we coined that phrase at all,” explained Mir Fontane in an exclusive interview with HNHH. “First time I heard it was from Travis Scott on ‘Out West’ by Young Thug. But it’s the cadence, it’s the way the beat flows, it’s the way she delivered it that’s like, ‘that sound is ours.’ That’s where it was like, yeah, this is definitely inspired, at least, by our record. It has nothing to do with the words that were being said.”
They insisted that they don’t put Cardi B at fault for it personally but Mir Pesos, who’s only beginning to get deeper into the rap game, explained that it’s a massive blow to his budding career. “We come from nothing, mind you. And that’s a business move because say now, the world knows her song. They really don’t know me. So if I go try to perform that someone’s gonna be like, ‘Oh, you made a Cardi [track],’” said Pesos.
Cardi B said on Twitter that she’s never even heard their song before.
We caught up with Mir Fontane and Mir Pesos on Friday to get their side of the story on the Cardi B situation.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
HNHH: When did you guys first record your version of the track, “Stuck?”
Fontane: Alright, so I believe it was April 3, 2020. I had met up with Pesos and Wayne Campbell at this garage they were recording at. I walk in and Pesos was already recording his verse to the record. So, he already had his first verse on there. I sit down and as he’s recording, I’m coming up with this hook in my head or this cadence that I know I want to put on there. So, I was gonna ask him if I can hop on there when he was done recording. This would have been the first record that we did together. So when he gets done recording, I tell him I got the hook. I go on there and I pretty much just freestyle the hook up the top we put the lines together as I’m up at the microphone.
I want to say it was like around Labor Day that we actually got around to shooting the music video. Pesos was out there shooting the video for one of his other songs that’s going crazy in the hood right now. He was like you might as well just pop out. So I get there. We out in North Camden and he’s like, “Yo, since you’re out here we might as well shoot the ‘Stuck’ video.” Everybody that’s out there already loved the song, because he played it for them already. So I’m like fuck it. Let’s just shoot a little teaser like they do back in the day where it’s just half of a song. It’s not even out yet, so they anticipate it. So we did that. And then we just shot the actual video randomly at a — I think it was Pesos’ birthday party. We shot it —
Pesos: Yeah, at my birthday party.
F: It was his birthday party. We shot it at my boy King Zo’s kitchen and shit on some random — you know what I mean? Let’s just do it since it’s already a party atmosphere. We shot it, we uploaded it. And that was pretty much what we uploaded around September, September, like late September. We shot it the beginning of September. [Ed. note: Mir Pesos & Mir Fontane’s “Stuck” music video was released on September 15th.]
Cardi responded to the tweet about the record with a clip revealing that she hinted at its release on Aug. 7th on a Livestream with Megan Thee Stallion. Did you guys see that at the time?
F: Truth be told, I’m not a huge Megan Thee Stallion or Cardi B fan. I respect what they do, but I don’t really keep up with them on social media and stuff like that. I seen that she posted that, but it was crazy that she said she did it on the 7th when, like I said, we did that teaser video for the other song that Mir Pesos got and we actually dropped that song on the 6th. So the day before she’s saying that she dropped that live.
It was just weird, but I don’t really hold it against Cardi. I know it’s like she has an entire machine and the team around her. It’s more so, I just thought it was a crazy one. Because I get this a lot. Fans will send me stuff like, “Yo, this kind of sounds like you or this sounds like this song,” and a lot of time it’s a reach. It’s like alright, it might have something similar to it, but the elements are different. I wouldn’t say that they stole this from me. Or that they even heard my record for them to get inspiration from it. But this one was like, it’s not even the quote, “it’s up if it’s stuck” because I’m not trying to say we coined that phrase, at all. I’ve heard that way before we came up with the song. First time I heard it was from Travis Scott on “Out West” by Young Thug. But it’s the cadence, it’s the way the beat flows, it’s the way she delivered it that’s like, “that sounds ours.” That’s where it was like, yeah, this is definitely inspired, at least, by our record. It has nothing to do with the words that were being said.
Tell me about when you guys found out about it. You just mentioned that fans usually hit you up.
P: I don’t know if bro was up. I got shows in Atlanta today so I had come from Philly to get on the airport. So they woke me up. I’m already getting up at four in the morning so my producer that made the beat in the song, he sent it to me and Mir in the groupchat. So I don’t really look at videos. Like bro said, when people said they hear songs that sound like mine, it might be a reach. Sometimes, I don’t even really look at the video. But then I kept getting a lot of notifications while I’m on my way to the airport. So I’m like, ‘Oh.’ and then he made a video with the similarities. So I just posted it. I put it on airplane mode, get out the airport. My phone has been going off nonstop. I just heard about it literally — I can’t say 24 hours. Like, 10 hours ago.
F: For me, I was asleep, but I tend to sleep with my phone next to my head or near my pillow. So, my phone is just going crazy and it’s waking me up. I look at my phone and the first message I open up is from Ish. Anybody that knows me, that’s like my right hand man as far as like music or even in life. So, he texts me and says, “Yo, is Cardi stealing your shit?” And I’m like “What?” He just sent me the video that’s going around right now. So I’m listening, and I’m watching it. I’m like, ”Yeah, that’s crazy,” because Ish wouldn’t even jump out the window to even say something if it could even be seen remotely as a reach or something. He wouldn’t even bring it to my attention. So the fact that Ish sent it, and then I look at the rest of my phone, and I’m like, these are a lot of messages. I go on Instagram and it’s the same thing. I’m like, “Yeah, this is crazy.”
Around this time, Wayne calls me and he don’t even know what’s going on. I just tell him to come through. It’s like three in the morning and I show him it. He’s way more baffled and upset about the fact that the high note — like, the way the beat sounds. Because I can’t tell you what to say. He was talking about the hi-hats and the 808s specifically. He was like, “yo, it sounds like they tried to remake the beat.” They just sped it up a little bit. And then to have that cadence and it’s like, “the up and then it’s and then it’s, then it’s then it’s…” Like, yeah, that’s really my sauce with that. It was more so like “Oh, this is really happening?”
Mir Fontane via Publicist
You said that you don’t necessarily put Cardi at fault for it.
P: Not at all. Not at all.
What do you think the chances of this just being a coincidence are?
F: I believe it’s only like 5% to 10% things that happen in life that are a coincidence. I know — I don’t even want to say names, but it’s people close to her camp that I’ve shared stages with, that are close to people that I’m close to right now. [That person watches] their stories who I know have played this record since we dropped it. And even before we drop it on their stories, and [that person watches] their story religiously. So, it’s not far-fetched that it would even be in that camp as far as him hearing it and then just probably looking at the views. Because it’s not even on my channel. That song — I really felt like that was a song that was gonna help boost bros channel and stuff like that, and even boost his fan base. So we uploaded it on Pesos channel. She probably looked at it, probably looked at his subscribers and stuff like that and thought it was an easy lick. But I feel like people do that a lot with unsigned or lesser-known artists. It’s been happening a lot. I want to say I’ve seen it in my career. I just feel like at this point we’re not going for that anymore. It’s too blatant at this point.
P: We come from nothing, mind you. And that’s a business move because say now, the world knows her song. They really don’t know me, like bro said. So if I go try to perform that someone’s gonna be like, “Oh, you made a Cardi –”
F: Yeah, you sound like Cardi.
P: That’s not the case.
F: We’ve been performing that song in Jersey, I want to say all during this whole COVID shit. For him not to be able to perform that, especially him about to do shows in Atlanta. For him not to be able to perform that because it sounds similar to this Cardi thing, that’s kind of crazy. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence at all. It’s not the craziest hook in the world. It’s not like it’s some mastermind of a hook. It’s really just how it was delivered, and how it was way too similar to what we executed on April 3.
What do you think the next steps moving forward are in terms of this record?
F: We’re not even looking to capitalize as far as like off of this record. We really just want our just dues. Like, we put our time, energy, blood, sweat, and tears into a record and we feel like it got jacked and we just want compensation for it, if anything. But we’re not using it — we don’t need the clout, we don’t need none of that. We’re gonna go back to our regularly scheduled programming, but I just felt like it had to be brought to attention because I feel like if not, it’s going to keep on happening. So it’s not even about the record “Stuck.” We want to keep on performing it, but it’s not like we want to have a new push behind it. It’s just, it is what it is.
P: We got bigger and better things.
F: We got other shit. We working.
Did you guys talk to that specific person from Cardi’s camp that you suspect may have had something to do with it? Has there been a conversation between you guys yet?
F: No, I didn’t even reach out. I don’t know bull personally like that. But, you know what I mean, I just know we shared a couple of stages, been in the same room, know a lot of the same people, work with a lot of the same people. It’s just too close to home for it to be a coincidence. But as far as going forward in the future, we just letting our teams handle everything else.
What could we look for from you guys this year? Fontane, I know you had an impressive run last year.
F: I got an album that I’m looking forward to releasing next month, and besides that, we’re just working on music videos and just trying to keep on developing as artists pretty much. Hopefully, the world opens back up in time for us to go back on tour, to do more shows and get back on the road. But that’s been the plan since last year, and that’s gonna stay the plan. I’ll see y’all in March.
F: Keep on creating, and just keep on doing what you do. Everybody got they time.