The singer’s 2012 song has gone viral thanks for new reworkings, but she’s not getting credited for the original.
Carla Morrison’s 2012 track “Disfruto” has recently become a go-to song for a slew of artists — including Lunay and Nesi — to remix or use for freestyle rap.
Most recently, Nicky Jam released “Desahogo,” rapping to the beat of Morrison’s “Disfruto,” and opening up about his life struggles and insecurities. While Nicky Jam’s version was released with Morrison’s permission and credits her as a featured artist, many of the other versions do not.
A few hours after Jam released his song on streaming platforms, the Mexican singer-songwriter took to social media to call out those, without using names, who are using “Disfruto” without her permission.
“It’s tiring when people use your music and never give you credit … including rap freestyles. They’re nice but what inspired them? My song … and I don’t see anyone giving credit to my work. It’s disrespectful,” she tweeted in Spanish. “I stay quiet because I know who I am, I am an elegant and hard-working woman but it’s no longer flattering when they never mention my work, my name and release stuff without my permission.”
Morrison, who owns the copyright to all her songs, later thanked fans on Twitter for tagging those “irresponsible” ones who are using her song adding that her lawyer was on it. “If they don’t do it the right way, then there will be consequences,” she tweeted.
But it’s not Nicky Jam, Lunay or Nesi she’s going after, since Instagram plays don’t translate to revenue. It’s the other existing versions that are unauthorized, uploaded to YouTube or Spotify and monetized.
Gil Gastelum, founder of Cosmica Management + Records and Morrison’s manager, tells Billboard, “What called our attention was a whole lot of unauthorized versions of ‘Disfruto’ that don’t credit her. It’s been a challenge to find some of these sometimes. A lot of them are up on YouTube.”
He adds that this is something they’ve been dealing with since 2018 when a DJ from Colombia created an unauthorized dance version of “Disfruto.”
“For whatever reason, someone in Colombia decided to make a danceable version of one of Morrison’s saddest songs. That version became kind of a hit in Colombia. We were able to track it down and license that one and a few other versions but there are still some out there that don’t have permission and we’re just finding them now,” Gastelum says. “They have been able to hide it pretty well on YouTube by misspelling her name but we’ve been able to file content claims on I think just about almost every one we can trace the master on.”
When it comes to those posting on social media only, it’s more of a gray area, he explains. “If there is any monetization that is happening from the song, which I’m not really sure if that’s the case, then there would be an issue.”
Typically, the “Disfruto Freestyle” kicks off with Morrison singing “Me complace amarte. Disfruto acariciarte, Y ponerte a dormir … Es escalofriante, Tenerte de frente, Hacerte sonreír ir ir” subsequently, the artists start rapping over the melancholic beat.
At the end of the day, Gastelum says, “We just ask that people do it the right way. It’s not necessarily a bad thing as long as she is credited. I think what ends up happening with these artists is that they’ll put something out and try to pass it off as their own that this is just done by them.”