Ghostface Killah is being accused of ripping
off a Bronx man’s music in Federal Court. Michael Artis filed a lawsuit against
Ghostface in Federal District Court, Southern District of New York in September
2001, claiming that the song "Mighty Healthy," a cut on the Supreme
Clientele album, was a complete rip off of his work.
The lawsuit alleges Dennis Cole’s a/k/a Ghostface
Killah stole music and passed it off as his own in a False Designation of Origin
"Epic Records was notified of the Artis
claim in early summer of 2001, but did nothing to redress the matter; thereafter,
Artis filed a lawsuit in late September 2001," Artis’ attorney Alice T.
Crowe, Esq., told AllHipHop.com in a written statement regarding the case.
"Ironically, at the early stages of the
lawsuit Dennis Cole’s lawyers would not accept court papers on his behalf; however,
when Epic filed it’s lawsuit against Coles in late October of this year, Coles’
lawyer, who moved to withdraw as counsel for Coles, agreed to stay on the case
to accept Epic’s legal papers against Coles."
According to Crowe, Ghostface was "served
with the Artis lawsuit in Florida when Coles paused momentarily to entertain
the flirtations of a young strawberry blonde while he was performing on stage,"
serving him his court papers in front of hundreds of his fans. Ghostface threw
the papers on stage and continued his performance. When he failed to appear
or file a response to the lawsuit, Crowe filed a default motion against him.
A lawyer appeared in court to respond to the
lawsuit for Ghostface later filed a motion to withdraw as legal counsel, citing
Ghostface’s management would not return his phone calls, saying he was difficult
and uncooperative in the case.
According to Crowe, Ghostface and Epic came to
an agreement to release him from his recording contract and one of the provisions
was that Ghost cooperated in defending the lawsuit.
When Ghostface’s lawyer filed a motion to withdraw
as counsel, Sony/Epic then filed a lawsuit against Ghostface citing he violated
his written agreement to assist them with defending the infringement lawsuit
launched in September. The suit names Sony Entertainment/Epic Records, The RZA,
and Allah Mathematics as parties.
Crowe’s said that the Epic lawsuit mirrors the
Artis lawsuit, citing Coles for infringing upon Artis’s music and seeking damages
against Ghostface for his actions.