Nice for What?
Someone’s in their feelings! On Wednesday, August 21, 2019, Samuel Nicholas II a/k/a Sam Skully formally filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in the Eastern District of Louisiana. Made Defendants’ in the suit is Producer Blaq N Mild, Musical Genuises Records, LLC, Big Freedia, Asylum Records, a division of Warner Music Group, Fuse Media, LLC, Drake, Young Money Entertainment, LLC, Cash Money Records, Inc., and Republic Records, a division of Universal Music Group.
In the lawsuit, Skully alleges that all named Defendant’s used sounds from the instrumental version of his copyrighted track “Roll Call”, part of a CD he published back in 2000 titled “Vockah Redu And Tha Crew Can’t Be Stopped”. He claims a sound recording that he coined “that beat”, that’s heard in ‘Roll Call’, and that he had previously used in producing artists Big Freedia and Magnolia Shorty, was used in two of Drake’s biggest hits: ‘Nice For What’ and ‘In My Feelings’, both from his latest album ‘Scorpion’.
Skully is not only claiming he’s owed money for the unauthorized use of “that beat” in ‘Roll Call’ (instrumental) on two of Drake’s tracks, but that he is owed for its use in a Youtube video that BlaqNMild posted in July of 2017, where he discusses the coined term “that beat” throughout the video. Additionally, he claims he is owed by Fuse Media, LLC, of Fuse TV, who is responsible for publishing the TV series Big Freedia Bounces Back, formerly Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce. Skully claims that throughout the series, Big Freedia is seen in the recording studio, where she discusses adding “that beat” to various songs, in multiple scenes.
The lawsuit is against all producers, artists, record labels, and associated acts, that were responsible for the publication of Drake’s ‘Nice for What’ and ‘In My Feelings’. This includes both Birdman’s label Cash Money Records and Lil Wayne’s Entertainment business, Young Money Entertainment.
The lawsuit was filed on August 21, 2019 in the Federal Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Skully ask’s the Court to render judgment against all named Defendants for copyright infringement, damages, treble damages, costs, reasonable attorneys fees, and injunctive and other equitable relief under copyright law, declaratory judgment, and any other equitable or legal remedies authorized by law. Since the Complaint was filed by Skully, a Federal Judge has been assigned to the case that remains in Louisiana, and litigation is now pending.
Upon the release and swift rise of two of Drake’s most notable “bounce” tracks ‘Nice for What’ and ‘In My Feelings’, the New Orleans music community was finally beginning to feel a sense of hope. I hope that New Orleans will finally get the musical recognition it’s been owed since the early 2000s. More importantly, the community was looking forward to seeing New Orleans artists work together, and not against one another. Sadly, this is New Orleans v. New Orleans, rather than New Orleans v. Everyone.
Be sure to stay up to date with Newtral Groundz, as we will continue to bring you updates on this lawsuit, and the status of all of these major artists, producers, and labels.