General Levy claims he received ‘no royalties’ for jungle classic, ‘Incredible’

General Levy claims to have never received royalties for his jungle classic ‘Incredible’, produced by M-Beat.

The iconic UK MC said in a recent interview with DJ Mag, “I’ve never received a royalties statement from London Records or from Renk Records”, referring to the official 1994 release of the enduring jungle hit.

As he told it, "London Records saw the potential [of the independently made track], said, ‘Okay, he's been a bit naughty, but we're gonna try and negotiate something.’ So they had a meeting with Renk. I wasn't there, nothing to do with me, I'm just the artist. Renk and London Records made an agreement, a licensing agreement, and they re-released the track." Soon after, 'Incredible' jumped to No. 8 in the UK charts.

General Levy said he has enquired with the labels about his missing royalties, but the record labels pass the blame. “Everytime I talk to Renk, Renk says, ‘Well, I gave London all the paperwork, I’ve given London everything, London’s got everything’”, he said. "They blame London. You go to London, London blames somebody else, and you end up running around in a circle. So I've never been able to get a royalties statement.”

“I don’t know how much money [it made], I don’t know how much it sold. There’s been so many different compilations, there's been a release in so many countries around the world, and I’ve never ever received not one pound from that song from the industry.”

DJ Mag has contacted Renk Records and London Recordings for comment.

When ‘Incredible’ was first released 30 years ago, it wasn't as universally beloved as its initial chart success and well-earned classic status might suggest. As General Levy said in his DJ Mag interview, jungle "gatekeepers" at the time took issue with the MC after on-stage and press statements were misrepresented. For producer M-Beat's side of that story, revisit Dave Jenkin's 2022 interview with the low-key jungle pioneer. 

This past November, General Levy collaborated with the "First Lady of Drum 'n' Bass" DJ Rap for the new single and video, ‘Life of the Party’.

Watch DJ Mag's interview with General Levy, in which he discusses the royalties situation, recording ‘Incredible’ in one take, the controversy around its release, renewed interest in the track created by its inclusion in Ali G Indahouse and an appearance on BBC Radio 1 Xtra, and more.