Fiona Apple gave a rare interview, to Vulture, this week, talking about a whole slew of things that seem to have been on her mind: The appearance of her classic song “Criminal” in Lorene Scafaria’s new film Hustlers, for instance, but also, just as importantly, Apple’s decision to donate her royalties for the song’s use to immigration aid group While We Wait. She also continued to chime in with additional info for interviewer Rachel Handler—including one after-the-fact retrospective on the awe-inspiring power of Jennifer Lopez’s butt—even after the interview was over, and has now turned directly to her fans to pass on a social media message to one very specific target. Hey, Lil Nas X: Where’s Fiona Apple’s money?
See, one of the topics touched on in the profile was the tendency by certain musicians to sample Apple’s music without her permission. (She doesn’t name names, but the timeline of one such story suggests she’s referring to Gilbert Forte sampling her on his 2013 track “Pray.”) This happens a lot, Apple notes, including, in a follow-up video that made its way to Instagram, on Nas X’s 2018 mixtape Nasarati, where that same track (“Every Single Night”) shows up on his song “Kim Jong”.
Apple presents a mixture of amusement and annoyance in the video, noting that, while she’s “sure you’re great,” she’s still kind of irritated at having her music lifted by the sudden up-and-comer. “And hey,” she asks at the end of her post, “Where’s my money, you cute little guy? Where’s my money?”
That’s actually kind of a complicated question, since Nasarati was an independently released, totally free mixtape that predates Nas’ rise to prominence on the back of “Old Town Road”—itself powered by a Nine Inch Nails sample used by the Dutch beatmaker Nas bought the song’s music off of.
It’s not clear whether there’s actually any money for said cute little guy to offer up to Apple. (It’s not like people are making millions of TikToks of “Kim Jong”. Still, maybe he can pay her back with a spot on a “Panini” remix?