Ghostface Killah, RZA, Named In Lawsuit

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 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.