They are worth billions, so why are the Carters coming after the little guy?
Hip-hop legend Jay-Z is suing a small, Sydney-based online book shop alleging trademark and copyright infringement. According to the New York Times, the Australian company the Little Homie published a book two years ago titled “A B to Jay-Z” and repurposed a lyric from the rapper’s famous song “99 Problems” as “If you’re having alphabet problems I feel bad for your son/ I got 99 problems but my ABCs ain’t one.”
The use of Jay Z’s name, likeness and references to the song is “a deliberate and knowing attempt to trade off the reputation and good will” of the rapper, and uses his intellectual property “for their own commercial gain,” the complaint says.
According to Jay-Z’s lawyers, many attempts were made to stop the book from being published back in 2017 via a series of cease-and-desist letters, which went ignored.
Other titles released by the Little Homie include “First 50 Words With 50 Cent” and “1 2 3 With The Notorious B.I.G.” “A B to Jay-Z” was one of the company’s best-sellers and ironically still remains for sale on the Little Homie website.
Owner of the Little Homie Jessica Chiha – who playfully refers to herself online as “J-Pain” – said she was shocked by Jay Z’s decision to press charges. “We are unbelievably disappointed to find ourselves caught in a legal battle with someone whose music we love and adore,” Chiha said in a statement obtained by Page Six.
“We refer to a whole host of hip-hop artists in the books, but to have someone like Jay-Z file legal proceedings is daunting beyond belief and hugely dispiriting. We maintain we have done nothing wrong and intend to give it everything we’ve got for common sense and common good to prevail, to the extent we can fight the fight.”
Daunting I’m sure, when the man suing you is rap’s first billionaire – according to Forbes, anyway.
More to come.