Vague featured artists: text-only credits?

When adding and editing hip-hop and electronic albums (particularly ones that were self-released on Bandcamp), I come across a lot of ambiguous “featuring” credits. I’m sometimes able to track down more details about the featured artists by looking at social media accounts or YouTube videos, but it’s often futile.

For a recent example, see track 5 of Reconquista | Apx Alx, “Getting Back (ft. Emma)”. Probably it’s a female vocalist, maybe located in the Phoenix area, but I haven’t been able to find any details. (For a laugh, see what Deezer did at seems like she must be busy!)

When I can’t find any details but am still determined to enter an album, I add a one-off artist with a disambiguation comment along the lines of “mid-2000s hip-hop, feat. on Some Artist’s ‘My Song’”. If the release is already on Discogs, I’ll add the URL from there if it isn’t obviously mixing up multiple people, but more often the entity ends up completely empty apart from the name, disambiguation, and track and recording credits.

This usually feels fairly pointless, though. I doubt that someone’s going to be able to (or bother to) dig up more information about these artists, and in the best case the entities will just sit there cluttering the artist selector for other editors. (In the worst case, lazy editors will start assigning bad credits to them, although disambiguation comments often seem to keep them at bay.)

Has there ever been discussion about supporting “text-only” artist credits that aren’t attached to artist entities, and that editors can use if they’re unable (or unwilling) to track down featured-artist credits? I probably spend the bulk of my editing time cleaning up junky disambiguation-less artists; maybe adding a prominent way for beginning or time-constrained editors to say “I don’t know who this is” when assigning credits would help.

Are there any best practices here? The only other option I can think of is omitting the featured artist from the credits entirely (which often seems to happen on Discogs), but that feels incorrect.


I feel like creating a new artist with the feature credit in the disambiguation is the best practice. it keeps the artist from getting confused with other artists (mostly), if there’s multiple tracks with the same artist (or multiple recordings of the same song) they can be grouped together easily, and if someone does come along and find they’re a duplicate, they can easily be merged with the correct artist

that’s actually one thing I prefer over say, RateYourMusic, which does allow unlinked artist fields, because when you create a new artist profile, you gotta hunt down every appearance of the artist and edit each and every release to add them


Alternatively they could be added as trailing join phrases and once there is more information it can be edited:


It’s already possible with join phrase but it would be better to create the artist or to use the [unknown] artist.


I’d considered using the [unknown] SPA, but the annotation there made me think that it’s mostly intended for various-artists releases (which actually surprised me – those credits are usually much easier to track down than first-name featured artists).

From the credits listing at, it looks like there are a decent number of places where it’s been used with credited-as names instead of just for “I don’t even have a name for this credit” situations, though.

I’m always uneasy with using trailing join phrases since it feels like a huge hack. :slight_smile:


I would always add the artist, with as much info as we have, even if it’s not a lot :slight_smile: