News: Jay Z & Rocawear Sued For Showing "Hood Love"

Monday, Aug 26, 2013 6:39PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Rap mogul Jay Z may be back to having 99 problems again as reports claim a company has sued his Rocawear company over using its phrase on a slew of tee shirts.

According to reports, Rocawear used the phrase "Hood Love" without proper permission to sell shirts.

Jay Z and Rocawear have no business plastering the phrase "Hood Love" all over t-shirts ... so says the pissed off company that owns the phrase and is now suing the pants off Jigga's clothing label. HoodLove, LLC -- a for-profit company dedicated to improving poverty stricken communities -- filed the lawsuit against ROC Apparel Group earlier this month ... over one specific shirt in the Rocawear line, which reads HoodLove in giant letters. HoodLove says it's owned the trademark since 2006 -- and claims Jay's company came along and started making a buck ... confusing the public, and trading off their good name. It's not clear how much cash Rocawear's made off the shirts, but HoodLove is suing for the profits ... and also wants the apparel yanked from stores. (TMZ)

Rocawear last made headlines in spring 2012 after teaming up with Major League Baseball's New York Yankees.

Rocawear announced today a sponsorship with 27 time World Series Champions, the New York Yankees. For the 2012 season, Rocawear will have branded signage in Yankee stadium and integrated promotions throughout the season. Jameel Spencer, EVP Marketing, men's division, Iconix Brand Group, Inc., commented, "Jay-Z has been a long-time fan of the Yankees, regularly attends games and has even included his favorite team in song lyrics, so this was a natural partnership. Rocawear, along with Jay-Z are very excited to be working with the Yankees for the 2012 season. We feel another championship in '12!" (Press Release)

The move came just days after the company ran its first-ever commercial.

The first ever Rocawear commercial is a retrospective of Shawn "JAY Z" Carter's journey as a kid growing up in the humble projects of Brooklyn aspiring to make music and eventually making history. On that journey, the first business beyond music was the birth of Rocawear. Carter's Rocawear brand represents his prowess as a business man who continues to challenge himself to be more than merely a musician. "My goal was to have one gold album and that was it," says JAY Z in the spot. "And then it became, I want to show that an artist can ascend to the executive ranks." Ultimately it has been JAY Z's ability to inspire his customers that has afforded Rocawear over 10 years as the number one brand in its' space. JAY Z continues, "Rocawear just keeps reinventing itself and redefining itself every single day." #Marcy2Barclays (Life and Times)

The Yankees partnership and television ad also came at a time when Rocawear had recently downsized its staff.

As familiar as he is with success, some would argue that Jay-Z's Rocawear venture has ultimately been a failure. The urban clothing line, which launched over a decade ago, has seen its fair share of hard times. But perhaps none have been more devastating than this past winter, when a global sales decline of $500 million caused the company's Manhattan store to lay off half of its 56 employees. (Billboard)

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