When Mac Miller sampled Lord Finesse’s 1995 hit “Hip 2 Da Game” for the song “Kool Aid & Frozen Pizza” off his 2010 mixtape K.I.D.S., he never imagined it’d cause him any trouble just two years later. While sampling past works for freestyles or mixtape tracks is usually common practice for hip-hop artists, D.I.T.C. rapper/producer Lord Finesse doesn’t feel that way.
According to ThisIs50.com, the Bronx legend has filed a $10 million lawsuit against Miller, his label Rostrum Records, and the mixtape site DatPiff.com. In court docs, Finesse alleges that the Pittsburgh newcomer used the song, nearly in its original form, and it launched his career.
“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 reads according to Courthouse News Service.
Since it’s release in August 2012, Miller’s K.I.D.S. mixtape has been downloaded more than 600,000 times on DatPiff; and the video for the track in question, “Kool Aid & Frozen Pizza”, had been viewed nearly 24 million times on YouTube, alleges the complaint.
In the suit, Finesse alleges that Miller has profited from the unauthorized use of the song. However, he only filed the lawsuit after all parties refused to respond to a cease and desist request served earlier this month.
The lawsuit cites “copyright infringement, unfair competition, unjust enrichment, interference, deceptive trade practices, and a number of related state law claims.” He’s seeking $10 million in damages, and a permanent injunction from the court.
Since news of the Lord Finesse lawsuit surfaced, Miller has taken to Twitter (@MacMiller) to respond, saying that while he holds no ill will toward the producer, they had spoken prior to the track coming out and both sides were “cool” with it.
“I’m supposed to be on hush, but lemme speak on this real quick,” Mac began. “Finesse and I spoke on the phone for an hour after he heard the record and cleared the air. We even planned to work on music together. All I wanted to do is shed light on a generation that inspired me. Finesse never cleared the Oscar Peterson sample on the original record. I did nothing wrong. We spoke on the phone had a good conversation, he was cool with the record. It’s all love tho. I ain’t even mad at dude. He still a legend. When I heard there was a problem, I reached out to him to try and solve it. No response. Lord Finesse, thank you for what u did for hip hop. Thank you for bringing my favorite rapper into the game.”