William Leonard Roberts II, also known as “Rick Ross,” has found himself in the news quite a bit as of late. Most recently, a lawsuit has been filed in Florida in both his name and Jermaine “Mayne Zayne” Jackson, one half of the production duo The Runners, alleging Copyright Infringement against the pop duo LMFAO for their 2010 song “Party Rock Anthem”. In the song the phrase “Everyday I’m shufflin'” is sung, which is similar to the chorus of Roberts’ 2006 song “Hustlin“. Interestingly, LMFAO’s publisher, Kobalt Music Group was joined as a defendant on the lawsuit by Kia Motors America, who licensed “Party Rock Anthem” for commercials.
The lawsuit reads, according to The Hollywood Reporter, “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, [among other things], the creation of an unauthorized derivative work…” And that the lyric is, “performed in a manner to sound like” Ross. They also call it “[…]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.”
Roberts also ended his ongoing civil trial with former drug kingpin “Freeway” Ricky Ross, who had been suing him for appropriating his image and life story into a successful rap career. A judge found Roberts not guilty on that charge earlier this week, just after releasing a verse on Kanye West’s “Bound 2”.
[via The Hollywood Reporter]