Want to be an official co-writer on a Prince song? There’s a way to do it–sort of–but it will cost you.
Prince’s first-ever single was a 1976 demo called “Soft & Wet,” which was co-produced by a dude named Chris Moon. While Prince is the performer on the record (reportedly playing all 27 instruments heard on the track), Moon contributed some lyrics.
When Prince was signed by Warner in 1978, “Soft & Wet” became his first single.
The song did…okay, making it as high as #12 on the Billboard Hot Soul Singles chart. More money was forthcoming, though, when MC Hammer sampled the song for “She’s Soft and Wet” in 1990 for his debut album. Because Hammer sold 22 million copies of Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em, the payday was pretty good. The result was what artists call “mailbox money”–regular royalty cheques that arrive in the mail.
Moon has retained his co-writing credit and the publishing rights to the song since he collaborated with Prince. Now, though, after plenty of mailbox money, he’s decided to divest himself of the publishing rights to the song on eBay. (Read more at CMU)