Ah, the perilous dangers of mixtapes. Though many aspiring artists have fallen upon the "it's free therefore we can use it" defense, the danger of running afoul of a prickly businessman forever lies in wait. How many up-and-comers have actually put in the money to clear samples or took proper efforts to handle licensing practices? Sometimes, even an A-lister can fumble. You may recall Rick Ross having used Fif's "In Da Club" instrumental on his Renzel Remixes Project, a curious move given their status as mortal enemies. Perhaps his intention was strictly in the name one-upmanship, a desecration of one's sacred territory.
Roy Rochlin/Getty ImagesIn any case, 50 Cent was not amused and sicced the legal eagles accordingly. Even today, the dance continues. Though a judge previously defenestrated the lawsuit over 50's lack of "In Da Club" ownership (the masters are apparently owned by Shady Records), AllHipHop confirms that Fif's lawyers are attempting to sway the judge's mind. The main crux of their argument is that Renzel used Fif's brand to market his upcoming Black Market album, as detailed by the following snippets of legalese:
Mr. Roberts explicit advertisement for Black Market clearly constitutes commercial speech, notwithstanding the fact that Mr. Roberts chose the vehicle of a song to deliver the repeated sales pitch 'only on the Black Market...December 4th...the album is out. Mr. Jackson does not challenge the unauthorized use of his voice in a purely entertainment work," 50's lawyer Frederick A. Braunstein said. "He challenges the unauthorized use of his voice as part of an advertisement for a collateral product, Black Market, for which he has no connection to whatsoever. "Clearly, 50 Cent is not about to let this one slide. It's no secret that Renzel and Fif have no love lost for one another, having exchanged shots as recently as this summer. Should the judge find himself swayed by this revised argument, it's possible that Renzel will find himself forced to pay up accordingly. But worse, he'll feel the sting of a validated 50 Cent, who may very well be waging the war on the basis of pride alone. And so goes the waltz.