Chris Brown has found himself in a legal battle with veteran Dancehall artist Red Rat after he allegedly violated the copyright of Tight Up Skirt. The song was recorded in 1997 and now Brown is being sued for US$1.5 million after he used vocal incorporation of the 1997 hit song in the 2017 notable hit Privacy.
Evidence against Chris Brown
According to a court document acquired by DancehallMag, it has been described the lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York by UK-based Greensleeves Publishing Ltd against Brown and his Manhattan-based record label Sony Music Entertainment.
Greensleeves disputes that Chris Brown and Sony Music Entertainment’s “exploitation of Tight Up Skirt has occurred without authorization or permission and constitutes an infringement of the copyright in the musical composition”.
The lawsuit was filed on July 2nd and it states, Greensleeves claims that Brown completely took lyrics from Red Rat’s song to create the Privacy song as well as the music video. Both include the following phrase at the beginning of its chorus: “Hey you girl without a tight up skirt!“
Tight Up Skirt‘s chorus began with: “Hey you girl inna di tight up skirt!” and they also mentioned that the phrase and its modifications were a “core musical feature” of the song with 18 experiences during the record.
Additionally, Greensleeves disputes that Privacy “does not” carry a hook or the sampled phrase “takes on greater significance, due to its prominent position as the first phrase in each chorus section”.
They continued that the ‘tight up skirt’ phrase in Privacy “is also very distinctive in the song because it contrasts with and musically deviates from a material preceding and following it musically, lyrically, and vocally.”
They made multiple claims that the rhythms during the ‘tight up skirt’ phrase are “identical in both songs with corresponding identical, or similar, lyrics in the following sequence.”
Attorney Daniel J. Aaron is presenting Greensleeves and they are seeking $1,500,000 in damages plus interest. Ironically Chris Brown is being sued because Red previously spoke about Chris Brown sampling the record.
In 2017, he told the Jamaica Observer that “ever since Chris Brown was in the studio recording the song Privacy and posted it on social media, I have been getting many calls left and right from many people asking me about my thoughts regarding him sampling Tight Up Skirt, and all I can say is, ‘Give God all the glory.’”
Red Rat continued, “I think that because Chris Brown, who is one of the biggest pop stars globally, feeling the need to sample a piece of Tight Up Skirt only shows how much he loves and respects Red Rat and his catalog. It also shows how much of a fan he is to the music.”
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