Lil Nas X, Cardi B and ‘Rodeo’ producers sued for copyright infringement

The lawsuit was filed by two Atlanta producers

Two Atlanta producers have sued Lil Nas X and his collaborators on the song ‘Rodeo’, including featured artist Cardi B, for copyright infringement.

As Pitchfork reports, the lawsuit was brought by Don Lee and Glen Keith DeMeritt III, who claim ‘Rodeo’ is “substantially similar” to a recording they made titled ‘gwenXdonlee4-142’. Nas X and his collaborators “did not receive permission from Plaintiffs to interpolate, sample, use, or copy the Work”, the lawsuit reads, and “created an unauthorized copy and/or derivative work from Plaintiffs’ original material.”

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According to the lawsuit, ‘gwenXdonlee4-142’ was incorporated into the 2017 song ‘Broad Day’ by PuertoReefa and Sakrite Duexe. That song was “performed, published, and distributed widely, including without limitation in and around the Atlanta hip-hop scene”, the producers say. Watch the video for ‘Broad Day’ below:

Both ‘Rodeo’ and ‘Broad Day’, Lee and DeMeritt argue, use similar instruments and drumbeats, and are “structured with a 4-measure phrase outlining the chord progression E, F, G, F, E”, Pitchfork reports.

Besides Nas X and Cardi B, producer duo Take A Daytrip – who produced ‘Rodeo’ and ‘Panini’ from Nas X’s ‘7’ EP – and Sony Music Entertainment are also named in the lawsuit.

Nas X has not responded to the lawsuit, though yesterday he did post a humorous meme hinting that ‘Rodeo’ was going to be the next single from his ‘7’ EP, following the monster hit ‘Old Town Road’ and ‘Panini’:

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The ‘Rodeo’ lawsuit comes after Fiona Apple semi-jokingly called Nas X out for sampling her song ‘Every Single Night’ on the song ‘Kim Jong’ from his ‘Nasarati’ mixtape without her permission. The ‘dispute’ was amicably resolved after Nas X said he and Apple should collaborate – an offer that the singer-songwriter accepted.

Nas X hasn’t been the only high-profile artist recently hit by allegations of copyright infringement. In August, Katy Perry and her collaborators on the song ‘Dark Horse’ were ordered to pay more than £2million in damages after they were ruled to have copied the underlying beat of an older rap song – a verdict they called a “travesty of justice”. In September, a copyright case centering on Led Zeppelin’s classic ‘Stairway To Heaven’ returned to the courts.

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