By Scott T. Sterling
Rick Ross’ dominant presence on the hip-hop scene has been rife with controversy, from lyrics that some construed as glorifying rape to a recent court battle with former drug dealer “Freeway” Ricky Ross over the use of his name (the rapping Ross won).
Now, the “So Sophisticated” rapper is filing a suit of his own against pop-EDM duo LMFAO over the refrain “Everyday I’m shufflin'” from the band’s 2011 smash, “Party Rock Anthem.” The suit alleges that the phrase was lifted from Ross’ 2006 debut single, “Hustlin’,” which features the refrain, “Everyday I’m hustlin’.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the lawsuit, which was filed in Florida federal court, reads in part: “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.”
The suit also cites the song’s fortunes outside of just record sales (7.5 million copies and counting), referring to the numerous and lucrative licensing opportunities “Party Rock Anthem” generated in everything from TV shows to video games to airline commercials.
“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,” the lawsuit continued.
Earlier this week, Rick Ross released a new remix of Kanye West’s much-discussed Yeezus single, “Bound 2,” adding his own inimitable touches to West’s track, which is the subject of its own legal dispute. West is being sued for an allegedly unpaid sample in the song from Ponderosa Twins Plus One’s 1971 tune, “Bound.”