Ludacris and Kanye
West defended their song "Stand Up" against copyright allegations last
week in a Manhattan courtroom. The lawsuit alleges that the Ludacris and West
took the hook for the hit single "Stand Up" from I.O.F’s (Its Only
Family) song “Straight Like That.” According to court documents, I.O.F’s
label, BMS Entertainment/Heat Music, claims they handed a demo of their song to
Ludacris on four different occasions between August 2002 and May of 2003. "There’s
a lot of rap songs that say ‘like that,’ ‘yo,’ ‘what’s up’ or ‘throw your hands
up,’ " West testified. "Whatever people say in the ‘hood, it ends up
on records. That’s what hip hop does." The lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount
of damages. If a jury finds Ludacris and West guilty, a second phase of the trial
will begin to determine the amount of financial damages to be awarded to I.O.F.
A U.S. District
Court Judge accused lawyers that represented the family of the Notorious B.I.G.
in a wrongful death lawsuit of deceiving her into declaring a mistrial. U.S.
District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper contends that lawyers for the Brooklyn
rapper’s family lied and "absolutely deceived" her after claiming
the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) withheld crucial evidence from an informant
that may have linked officers to the murder of the B.I.G. in March of 1997.
Cooper made the statements upon receiving a report prepared by a private investigator
for the plaintiffs which showed that the family attorney’s were privy to
the informant’s remarks as early as 2002. In response to the accusations, Perry
Sanders, attorney for the Notorious B.I.G. family, indicated that while he initially
told the court he had no knowledge of the informant; he later recanted those
statements. Sanders told the Associated Press that he advised the court that
he had been "previously contacted" by the person in question after
realizing the mistake and that this was a ploy by city attorney’s to “use
this against us.” The case is currently scheduled for a re-trial later
Harlem rapper Cam’ron’s latest album Killa Season moved over 114,000 units off the shelves
last week, landing the album at No. 2 on The Billboards 200. Killa Season marks
the second time Cam’ron has debuted in the #2 spot on Billboard. His previous
effort, Come Home With Me, debuted at #2 in 2002, selling 226,000 copies
in the first week. Killa Season is Cam’s first album release after
signing a $2.5 million dollar deal between his Diplomat Records and Warner Music
Group’s label, Asylum. The disc features guest appearances by Dip Set members
Juelz Santana, Hell Rell, JR Writer and Jim Jones. In addition to his new album,
the Harlem rapper also makes his directorial debut in the DVD companion to the
album of the same title. Killa Season the DVD, features Cam’ron star
playing the role of "Flea," a basketball player turned hustler who
rises up the ranks of the New York drug trade.
A Pittsburgh, Pa.
songwriter has filed a civil lawsuit in the Southern District Federal Court
of New York against Nelly, The Neptunes (Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams) and
‘NSYNC alleging copyright infringement. Ben Freeman claims that the ‘NSYNC
Grammy nominated song ‘Girlfriend’ infringes on his song ‘Be
My Girlfriend,’ which he registered and copyrighted in 1995. Freeman lawsuit
asserts that there are striking similarities between the two songs and alleges
that ‘NSYNC was given a copy of the song in 1999 for review. A total of 22 defendants
have been named in the lawsuit. As of press time, label reps for the artists
were unavailable for comment.