Before OutKast, Goodie Mob, Ludacris, T.I., Jeezy, Gucci Mane, Childish Gambino, Future, Migos, Lil Baby, and other Atlanta-bred rappers became household names, Kilo Ali was the ATL’s homegrown Hip Hop hero. The A-Town Rush album creator was one of the city’s first rap stars.
Music Business Worldwide reports Kilo Ali (born Andrell Rodgers) is suing Memphis-raised rhymer NLE Choppa (born Bryson Potts) for copyright infringement. Ali claims Choppa’s “Make Em Say” featuring Latto (formerly known as Mulatto) stole elements of his song “Love In Ya Mouth.”
Kilo Ali filed the lawsuit in the US District Court for the Central District of California on June 24. NLE Choppa, NLE Choppa Entertainment, Latto, Warner Music Group, Warner Records Senior Vice President of A&R Norva Denton, and others were named as defendants.
According to court documents, Kilo Ali is accusing NLE Choppa of incorporating the “melodic vocal chorus” of “Love In Ya Mouth” into the “Make Em Say” track without attributing Ali. The complaint also pointed out that YouTube commenters on the “Make Em Say” music video recognized the “Love In Ya Mouth” sample.
Kilo Ali is seeking “all gains, profits, and advantages” acquired by the defendants as a result of “unfair trade practices and unfair competition” as well as “infringement of Plaintiff’s copyright.” The 48-year-old Georgia native is requesting the defendants cover additional damages and attorney fees as well.
The complaint also reads, “In the alternative, Statutory Damages for intentional infringement in the sum of $150,000.00 per infringement, or such damages as this Court shall deem proper and within the provisions of the copyright statutes, but not less than the sum of $750.00.”
“Love In Ya Mouth” featuring Big Boi of OutKast lives on Kilo Ali’s 1997 project Organized Bass which was released via Interscope Records. Ali’s lawsuit maintains the song was registered for copyright protection on August 26, 1998.
NLE Choppa dropped “Make Em Say” featuring Latto in August 2020. The single appears on Choppa’s 2020 studio album Top Shotta. It peaked at #10 on the Billboard 200 chart. As of press time, the “Make Em Say” music video has over 7 million views on YouTube.