A former member of NWA has filed a lawsuit against Ruthless Records, claiming the company has refused to pay royalties, after licensing one of his records to Black Eyed Peas’ member Fergie for use in her hit Hip-Hop song “Fergalicious.”
The Arabian Prince, born Kim Nazel, filed the lawsuit on March 9 in the Supreme Court of the State of New York.
The lawsuit claims that Tomika Wright, Jerry Heller and Ruthless Records authorized the use of his composition “Supersonic” for use in Fergie’s #1 record “Fergalicious,” taken from her sophomore album The Dutchess.
Around 1986, The Arabian Prince formed N.W.A. with Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Eazy-E, MC Ren, DJ Yella and The D.O.C., while Eazy-E also formed the seminal Gangsta Rap label, Ruthless Records.
During his time with N.W.A., The Arabian Prince authored or co-produced a number of hit records for Ruthless, including seminal tracks like “Straight Outta Compton,” “F*ck The Police,” “Gangsta Gangsta,” “Dopeman,” “Quiet On Tha Set,” “Something 2 Dance 2″ and others.
In 1988, Ruthless released “Supersonic,” which he wrote with four other writers, including the members of J.J. Fad, who performed the original track.
According to the lawsuit Arabian Prince, who owns 20% of the composition, claims that Ruthless “misrepresented that they had authority to license [his] portion of the composition for use in the new composition ‘Fergalicious.’”
He also claims that unbeknownst to him, Ruthless has been collecting royalties from the sales of “Fergalicious,” which has sold almost 3 million copies and set records for digital downloads.
Additionally, The Arabian Prince claims in the lawsuit that despite repeated attempts, Ruthless has yet to compensate him for the tracks he produced for N.W.A.
The Arabian Prince seeks damages for unjust enrichment, tortious interference and breach of contract.
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