Lord Finesse sues Mac Miller over use of “Hip 2 Da Game” beat
by Fred Pessaro // BBG
Lord Finesse and Mac Miller react to the lawsuit
Rapper Lord Finesse says in a $10 million lawsuit that 20-year-old rap star Mac Miller ripped off his 1995 hit “Hip 2 Da Game” to launch his music career.
Lord Finesse (born Robert Hall) has been rapping since the late 1980s, and led the popular New York hip-hop crew Diggin in the Crates (D.I.T.C.), in addition to having a solo career and writing for rappers like Biggie Smalls and Dr. Dre.
In 1995, Finesse released his hit song “Hip 2 Da Game,” which is the subject of his lawsuit against Mac Miller in federal court in Manhattan.
“This is a case about a teenage rapper- Mac Miller- copying the music from a song written, produced and performed by Lord Finesse, a hip hop legend, changing the title and then distributing it under his own name in order to launch his music career,” the complaint states.
Mac Miller released his version of “Hip 2 Da Game” on a “mix tapes,” a term used to describe free music distributed by up-and-coming rappers.
The “mix tape” strategy has been favored by many rappers and hip hop producers in recent years. Rappers often record new rhymes over the instrumental tracks of older, popular rap songs and distribute the music for free.
Finesse, whose real name is Robert Hall, sued the website DatPiff.com, which is one of the best known distributors of free mix tapes from new rappers, and Miller’s label, Rostrum Records…
The mix tape was released on DatPiff in August 2010, has been downloaded more than 500,000 times and has been streamed more than 450,000 times, the lawsuit states.
The video for “Kool Aid & Frozen Pizza,” which uses the beat for “Hip 2 Da Game” has been viewed nearly 24 million times on YouTube, according to the complaint.
Finesse says Miller has profited from the unauthorized use of his song.
The lawsuit cites a New York Times article from last November about Miller that explains how the alleged infringement is “part of a strategy to build a fan base.” -[Courthouse News]
As much of a fan of Lord Finesse as I am (huge), I cant help to think about all of the unknown artists that released their music on private and obscure labels that Finesse would go on to sample. Of course, the game is wholly different now.
Mac Miller will join as support for Wiz Khalifa tour, joining names like Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Chiddy Bang and Chevy Woods at Jones Beach on August 2nd. Tickets are still available, if that’s your sort of thing.
Full Wiz Khalifa tour dates, the offending Mac Miller song, and a palate cleanser (a sorbet scoop of classic Lord Finesse) is below.
Lord Finesse – Hip 2 Da Game 1995 HQ
Mac Miller – Kool Aid and Frozen Pizza
Mac Miller – Donald Trump
Lord Finesse – Return Of The Funky Man
Lord Finesse – The Funky Technician
Da Graveyard – Big L, Lord Finesse, Jay-Z & Y.U.
WIZ KHALIFA – 2012 TOUR DATES
Jul 11 Stadtpark Hamburg, Germany RSVP
Jul 12 SPORTING MONTE-CARLO S. DES ETOILES Monaco, Monaco
Jul 14 Hip Hop Open Fest Stuttgart, Germany
Jul 15 Ippodromo San Siro Milano, Italy
Jul 15 Privilege Ibiza, Spain
Jul 26 Riverbend Music Center Cincinnati, OH
Jul 27 First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre Tinley Park, IL
Jul 28 Klipsch Music Center Noblesville, IN
Jul 29 Molson Canadian Amphitheatre Toronto, Canada
Jul 31 Scarborough Downs Scarborough, ME
Aug 01 Comcast Center Mansfield, MA
Aug 02 Nikon at Jones Beach Theater Wantagh, NY
Aug 03 Susquehanna Bank Center Camden, NJ
Aug 04 First Niagara Pavilion Burgettstown, PA
Aug 05 DTE Energy Music Theatre Clarkston, MI
Aug 19 National Orange Show San Bernardino, CA
Aug 31 Palms Pool & Bungalows Las Vegas, NV
Sep 01 Red Rocks Amphitheatre Morrison, CO
Sep 03 Minnesota State Fair Grandstand St Paul, MN