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No Country for Old (Rap) Men: A Boy Named Sue aka Sue-sue-sussudio

Wu-Tang aren't the only rappers to be challenged to a (court) battler. Robbie investigates.

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So U-God aka Golden Arms aka Rollie Fingers is allegedly suing the Wu-Tang Clan for $2.5 million in unpaid royalties. You’ve gotta feel bad for the guy, who is generally regarded as everybody’s least favourite member of the illustrious crew and was basically included on some of the early stuff to put some money in his pocket after a stint in the bing. Perhaps the Wu Accounting Team simply don’t have U-God’s current mailing address and have been sending his Spotify cheques for $1.33 to a PO Box in East Orange, NJ?

Obviously I wouldn’t dare make such quips about Masta Killa, who notoriously punched rap writer Cheo H. Coker in the face after some campy looking cartoon characters were run alongside his RapPages article in the mid-90s. I would like to point out, as a matter of public record, that the time I did a phone interview with this gentleman, the results were so dull that I didn’t ever bother to transcribe it (although I’m happy to shoulder at least half of the blame here).

If this article were a Tumblr page from five years ago, it would be titled FUCKYEAH! RAP LAWSUITS! But it’s not so it isn’t. The majority of rap-related court battles tend to revolve around someone getting jerked for money in a business deal turned sour, accusation of ripping off a song that was on Myspace or the good old chestnut that is uncleared samples. Take, for example, the dude who claimed that Madchild, the pill-popping DudeBro who inflicted the Swollen Members on the world back in the ’00s, had stiffed him on his partnership in the Battle Axe Warriors fan club.

From the initial reports on the case, the plaintiff doesn’t strike me as particularly business savvy, in that he allowed himself to becoming a human personal loan dispenser and was handing out cash hand over foot for the following: ‘$6,500 for a Harley Davidson motorcycle, $8,500 for a 1969 Ford Mustang and $5,000 for “food, gas, cigarettes, housing and artwork.”‘ That reminds me that I need to start a ‘business’ with some rube who will throw wads of sweet, sweet do-re-mi every time I have a hankering for some new ‘artworks’. I think the kids call it ‘crowd funding’ these days.

Another personal favourite of mine was the time that future POTUS Mac Miller welched on his promise to Lord Finesse to buy some beats from him in exchange for releasing a popular video of him rapping over an old Funkyman instrumental, resulting in Miller getting stung with a lawsuit that ended in an undisclosed out-of-court settlement. I still chuckle to myself when I recall the depth of hurt feelings and accusations that Finesse was a ‘bitter, washed-up old man’ by clueless Stans.

Lil’ Kim once considered herself the Queen of Rap because she used to carry Biggie’s weed and occasionally let him throw a leg over. Then she got involved in shoot-outs outside of rap radio stations; was sued by her record label for failing to deliver an album after spending hundreds of thousands on studio time, weed and ‘artworks’; sued by her former manager for lost revenue as a result of ‘diva’ antics; and in 2013 suffered the ultimate indignity after she received a cease-and-desist (which eventually blossomed into a lawsuit) for stealing a zombie makeup image from some make-up artist’s Instagram account. Kimberley has clearly hit rock bottom and requires an intervention from Lil’ Cease at this point, who likely doesn’t have anything better to do himself.

Other bizarre legal incidents include the employees of T.I.’s two eateries suing for unpaid wages, Drake being sued by the guy who made the ‘Hotline Bling’ beat for allegedly ‘ordering a beating’, and Troy Ave stinging both Irving Plaza and Live Nation for ‘negligence and carelessness’ which allowed him to get involved in a shoot-out which left one man dead and his bodyguard wounded. Personally, I’d like to see music fans launching civil suits against rappers for releasing underwhelming albums or concerts where only three songs are performed before being cut short by anti-Beyoncé rants. In fact, let’s just cut out the court system altogether and just have all future disputes settled via Gucci Mane’s Twitter account.

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