US rapper takes out legal action against pop duo over similarities to his 2006 song 'Hustlin'
Rick Ross is suing defunct pop duo LMFAO over their use of the phrase “Everyday I’m shufflin'” in their hit single ‘Party Rock Anthem’.
The rapper believes that LMFAO’s 2010 single, which has sold over 7.5m copies, contravenes his 2006 track ‘Hustlin”, which features the line “Everyday I’m hustlin’.” The Hollywood Reporter states that Ross, along with Jermaine Jackson, has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the Los Angeles-based electropop duo of Stefan Kendal Gordy (Redfoo) and Skyler Austen Gordy (SkyBlu).
According to a lawsuit filed in Florida federal court, “The use of ‘Hustlin’ in ‘Party Rock Anthem’ is readily apparent, despite the slight change from ‘Everyday I’m hustlin’ …’ to ‘Everyday I’m shufflin’ …’ and constitutes, inter alia, the creation of an unauthorized derivative work.” Ross, who is now seeking an injunction and maximum statutory damages, also claims that the phrase is “performed in a manner to sound like” Ross’ own, and “is an obvious attempt to capitalize on the fame and success of Hustlin’.
“The phrase is so important to the success of ‘Party Rock Anthem,’ that LMFAO launched a highly successful clothing line, Party Rock Clothing, that features the phrase on T-shirts and other clothing items,” says the lawsuit.
A US court ruling recently allowed Rick Ross to continue using his stage name. The rapper, real name William Roberts II, had been challenged by a former drug kingpin, ‘Freeway’ Ricky Ross, for appropriating his name and likeness. Using the First Amendment in the United States’ Constitution, which regards, among other things, freedom of expression, the $10million lawsuit by the reportedly reformed Ricky Ross came to nothing.
Rick Ross caused a storm of controversy last year with a lyric from ‘U.O.E.N.O.’ which appeared to condone rape. He apologised, but was later dropped from a Reebok advertising campaign who issued a statement saying: “While we do not believe that Rick Ross condones sexual assault, we are very disappointed he has yet to display an understanding of the seriousness of this issue or an appropriate level of remorse. At this time, it is in everyone’s best interest for Reebok to end its partnership with Mr Ross.”