Nappy Roots, Atlantic Records Sued By Musician

Producer/musician Willie Woods filed suit in the U.S. District Court in St. Louis against Nappy Roots and their label Atlantic Records because he alleges the Grammy-nominated rap group hasn’t paid him for work he performed on their song “Po’ Folks.” Woods also alleges he has never appeared as a co-writer or a co-producer of the song despite his contributions. In addition, he said he does not own any part of the tune’s copyright.

The song in question appears on Nappy Roots’ Watermelon, Chicken & Gritz,” an album that has sold platinum-plus since being released in Feb. 2002.

Currently, the 34-year-old Woods intends to obtain part ownership of the song’s copyright, monetary compensation from the single’s sales, the album, and any potential future earnings the song may make.

“Mr. Woods holds no ill will toward the band or its label,” said Michael Kahn, the producer’s attorney. “However, he does seek to hold a portion of the song’s copyright, and receive the credit and compensation due to him for his key contributions to “Po’ Folks.”

According to the lawsuit, Nappy Roots asked Woods to perform guitar and bass for “Po’ Folks” and, in return, he would receive compensation and credit for his contribution.

However, he alleges he never received any such credit or compensation as the song is now nominated for a Grammy in the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration category. In the suit, Woods claims he performed four of the five part in the musical composition of “Po’ Folks.”

At press time, representatives for Nappy Roots were not available. Inquiries to Atlantic Records were not immediately returned.

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