SOHH Whatcha Think: Mac Miller's Lawyers Bite Back + Yet Another Jay-Z Lawsuit
Friday, Jul 13, 2012 8:40PM
Scariest things in music today: A R&B singer with a broken heart, a up-and-coming rapper with a camera and Worldstar account, and finally, n*ggas with lawyers. Yeah. The past few week's in urban music has been all about bottle throwin', video shootin', and lawyer callin', and the year is only halfway over.
[Editor's Note: The views expressed in this column do not necessarily relfect those of SOHH]
It's always funny when an artist or producer that came in the game as a rebel turns around and sues a young scrap for makin' the same kinda moves he made when he himself was a young scrappington, but hey, n*ggas gotta eat, right? This Mac Miller vs. Lord Finesse courtroom beef is about as interesting as a yard sale, but hey -- until some more noteworthy old school/new school personalities have at it, this is what we got. The latest news in SampleGate is the Mac's lawyers are saying they ain't on no punk sh*t, and they are gonna stand tall on against Finesse's, um, finessing.
Doesn't look like Rostrum Records is going to take Lord Finesse's $10 million lawsuit against Mac Miller lying down. "First and foremost, we stand by Mac Miller in this situation and we will fight the case together with him," read a press release issued by Mac's Pittsburgh-based label to MTV News on Friday (July 13).(MTV)
I could tell you that sampling is a pillar of hip hop and such, but we know this is all about gettin' some quick dough. How you gonna sue Mac Miller for $10 million dollars? $10 MILLION DOLLARS. That's some Dr. Evil "I need a kagillion billion dollars" type sh*t. C'mon bruh.
Here's the other way to look at this: A producer who made his name sampling the music of others and didn't always credit them or pay up is now suing a young rapper for using one his instrumentals without crediting him or paying up. Finesse came up in an era when it was still possible to sample and "get away with it," and rap's weird jump to the Internet has created something of a resurgence of sample-based hip-hop. It isn't a coincidence that this rap renaissance coincides with a distribution model (free, on blogs) that confounds draconian copyright laws related to sampling, so it's a bummer that he doesn't realize that or doesn't care. As Miller himself pointed out on Twitter, Finesse never properly cited Oscar Peterson, whose "Dream of You" is sampled on the 1995 track. There was also a 1-800-CALL-AT&T commercial, which featured "Hip 2 Da Game." It would be interesting to know if Finesse profited off of those ads, because then Oscar Peterson's estate got screwed twice over. At the heart of this lawsuit is something noble, but Finesse isn't the one to be leading this campaign.(Spin)
Like I said, the lawsuits keep a-rollin' in ... is there a Forbes list or Judge Judy list or some sh*t that keeps track of the most sued rapper? Cuz it gotta be either Birdman or Jay-Z. This time around, Blue Ivy daddy is gettin' sued by Dwayne Walker, who, years after the Roc dissolved and faded into a hip hop memory, decided that maybe he should get about $7 million for designing their logo.
Dwayne Walker has filed suit against Jay-Z, alleging that he is owed unpaid royalties from creating the Roc-A-Fella logo. A New York City, New York clothing designer has sued Jay-Z and his former Roc-A-Fella record label partners, claiming they owe him $7 million in unpaid royalties for designing their label logo. According to NYDN, Dwayne Walker filed a suit in Manhattan yesterday that he created the Roc-A-Fella design and wasn't properly compensated for his work.(HHDX)
Of course, no one from Jay's camp is talking, probably because they're too busy laughing.
It says Walker came up with the logo in 1995 when Roc-A-Fella was just starting out. The label is now a subsidiary of Universal Music Group. The suit says Walker saw what label co-founder Damon Dash had in mind for the logo and said he could do better. Jay-Z's publicist did not respond to messages for comment.(MTV)
SOHH Watcha Think: Who has the better odds of winning -- Lord Finesse with his $10 million suit, or Mr. Walker with his asking price of $7 milli?
[Editor's Note: The views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect those of SOHH]