AHH Stray News: Ludacris & Kanye, B.I.G., Cam'ron, Nelly

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

this year.

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.