T-Pain has been hit with a lawsuit by songwriter/former MTV reality star Sara Stokes, who claims the producer cheated her out of royalties for song they co-authored for R&B singer Jennifer Hudson.
Stokes rose to fame after being featured on Making The Band 2 and as a member of Diddy’s group Da Band, which released one album, Too Hot For TV (2003).
Saramony Entertainment filed the lawsuit on Friday (June 4th) in Missouri Eastern District Court, claiming she produced and co-wrote two songs with T-Pain, including Hudson’s tune “What’s Wrong (Go Away),” from the Grammy Award winning album Jennifer Hudson.
Stokes, claims that although Hudson’s album went Gold, she has received no producer, songwriter or performer credits for her role in created “What’s Wrong (Go Away).”
“The exploitation of musicians is a story as old as the music and recording industry itself,” Stokes’ lawyer Eric F. Kayira said in the lawsuit. “The creative process in producing a duet is often times an effort borne equally from two artists/writers. Harmonically and interdependently, the energies of such artists form a single expression that neither can support by themselves. Unfortunately, too often in today’s popular music culture, the fame and notoriety of some performers may eclipse the considerable contributions and integrity of developing artists/writers, often at the expense of the legal and moral rights of lesser known co-authors.”
Stokes claims that her label at the time, Quan Entertainment, entered into a deal with Nappy Boy Productions, with purpose of providing Stokes with two songs.
The tracks were recorded at T-Pain’s studio, which according to the lawsuit, is in the basement of his sprawling house in Atlanta, Georgia, according to the lawsuit.
Stokes claims that she originally co-authored and recorded the song with T-Pain and aired their version on WHHL 104.1 FM in Missouri. ‘
Stokes claims she was shocked to hear that T-Pain, born Faheem Rasheed Najm, made deals with third parties to allow Hudson to re-record the song without her original vocals.
“Only slight deviations in the lyrics exist between Stokes’ version and the released version, whereas the whole musical composition is the exact same on which Stokes collaborated with Najm,” according to Stokes lawyer.
Stokes is seeking to be officially named as co-author of “What’s Wrong (Go Away), an accounting of all income derived from the sale of the song and attorney’s fees and costs.
Also named in the legal filing is T-Pain’s Nappy Boy Publishing and Universal Music-Z Tunes.
Rapper Lil Romeo has revealed he plans to carry the No Limit torch in order to make a new generation better.
“I’ve seen family and friends turn on each other behind money. Most African American athletes and entertainers make money for a few years but lose it due to lack of education and financial literacy. And I’ve been groomed to break that cycle,” said Romeo, the eldest son of rap mogul/No Limit founder Master P.
Master P. will be celebrated tonight (June 7th) during the 2010 Hip-Hop Honors, with performances by former No Limit Records artists Romeo, Silkk the Shocker, Mystikal, along with Trina, Gucci Mane,
And Kid Capri.
“My dad gave me four things that most parents don’t give their kids: education, time, love, and shared experiences whether good or bad,” Romeo told AllHipHop.com. “I’ve seen life through my father’s eyes, that’s why I’m focused and prepared. I know it’s my time to take over in this entertainment business but more importantly, I realize that I must continue my education at USC.”
According to Romeo, his father taught him that people “will love you when you’re up and hate you when you’re down.”
“The music business has changed. If you want to make it in this game, you have to do viral marketing. The internet is a new form of revenue but truly connecting to your fans will give you longevity. I was honored to perform on my dad’s behalf at the VH1 Hip Hop Honors Award Show. He has overcome so many obstacles in his life and accomplished so much throughout his career while still managing to help others and make a true difference in so many lives. Although I witnessed my father’s actions firsthand throughout my entire life, I was still blown away as I watched the presentation of his story in creating southern Hip Hop.
Romeo said that his father’s ultimate goal was to see him to better in life, and said that Master P. was the best “hustler in the game.”
“I know that’s where I get my work ethic from but what I plan to do different is to be the smartest hustler in the game. He taught me that fame come and go but knowledge lasts for a lifetime. And thanks to him, I have a billion dollars worth of knowledge. Most entertainers are running a race, but the Miller dynasty is running a marathon to success,” Romeo declared.
Romeo also addressed recent news reports revealing his was removed from the USC basketball team, due to a shoulder injury.
“I invested two years of my life to chase my hoop dreams while passing up opportunities to be in movies like Twilight, Transformers, and Disturbia due to NCAA regulations. Even though we won the PAC 10 Championship and made history with USC, the following year our team was placed on probation due to an incident that took place years before I played for USC. This probation would setback the basketball program for at least a decade in rebuilding process.”
Added to this was a shoulder injury, which doctors said would take at least a year to heal. They also told the rapper that if he re-injured his shoulder, he would no longer be able to play with it again.
“Therefore, I recognized that realistically it was time for me to switch my focus from being a student-athlete to being a college graduate. And now I can achieve my degree in three years instead of four. In addition, I’m free to pursue my entertainment career opportunities at the same time without breaking any NCAA rules and have the best of both worlds,” Romeo said.
To Lil' Kim, it seems, the old adage that "imitation is the highest form of flattery" is better suited to theory than actual practice. The Brooklyn rapper has been lashing out at Lil Wayne protégé Nicki Minaj, most recently in a series of promo shows and an interview in which she claims the upstart femcee hasn't paid proper respect to the Queen Bee.
Kim first stung Nicki Minaj earlier this month at a concert in Buffalo, New York. The veteran lyricist alluded to the Young Money artist's penchant for neon-colored wigs like the one Kim donned in her '97 video for "Crush on You." Nicki is donning a cotton-candy-colored wig on the cover the latest issue of Vibe magazine.
"Y'all know who this is, I love starting trends," Kim told the crowd. "I'm going to another level. I love the wigs and everything but I'm so above them." And with that Kim took off her wig and tossed it into the audience.
Days later, at a show in Manhattan, Kim picked up her where she'd left off at her upstate New York show, this time joined by singer Ray J, who launched into the dis session.
"It's a lot of people biting her style and sh--," Ray said to roars of approval from concertgoers. "I ain't saying no names — but you know who."
"We love them," Kim said, joining in. "We just want them to pay homage, so we can all rock together. It's about respect: You respect me, I respect you. If you don't respect me, then f--- you."
According to Kim, in a radio interview on Saturday with Philly 100.3 the Beat's Kendra G., she began alluding to Nicki's behavior because of a rift than began, apparently, when Nicki Minaj blew off Kim.
"Here's my thing, all females that come in the game, we need to stick together, and I always try my best to embrace them," Kim told the radio host on Saturday. "But what happens is, when they come in the game and they realize that I'm not going away and my fans are still here and they can't just step on me, they get upset and then they'd don't want to be my friend anymore. I think that's really childish and stupid. Because all I ask for is respect, and I show the same respect back. Pay homage, at the end of the day a lot of things go on behind the scenes that people don't know about. It will be aired out, because you can't hide the truth."
While Nick Minaj has mostly stayed quiet on the subject, her labelmate Drake spoke out during a Connecticut concert over the weekend as the pair performed together.
"I know you be calling women bitches and sh--, but I can't say you the baddest bitch," Drake said to Nicki. "I can't do that because I respect you, I love you too much and you look too beautiful. So I just wanna say you the baddest woman to do this rap sh--. I don't give a f--- what Lil' Kim or nobody else is talking about — you're the baddest chick to ever do this sh--."
Kim, for her part, the very next day, directed her ire at Diddy, Nicki's new manager, during a show performance of "All About the Benjamins," spitting some unfriendly sentiments at her onetime ally.
"Ay, Puffy should be ashamed of his f---in' self," Kim rapped.
And this isn't the first time Lil' Kim and Diddy have been at odds. The two traded barbs last year during the release of the biopic "Notorious." Kim was upset at her portrayal in the movie and claimed Diddy, along with Biggie's mother, played a part in what she deemed an unflattering characterization, even singling out the actress cast to play her.