Hip Hop Herald 07.18.12: Lord Finesse Sues Mac Miller, Game's Reality Show, DMX Hospitalized, More
Posted by Bill Wannop on 07.18.2012
News and thoughts on The Game starring in a new reality show, Lord Finesse suing Mac Miller for $10 million, DMX crashing his ATV, Busta Rhymes prepping for a Leaders of the New School reunion and more!
Welcome one and all to the Hip Hop Herald. The column will deal with anything related to hip hop whether it be underground, mainstream, or the new-age pop infused rap (you know the stuff Timberlake and Timbaland make). We will cover news, opinions, release dates as well as feature some music and of course videos.
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Lord Finesse has filed a $10 million dollar lawsuit against Mac Miller and his label which may change the course of hip hop. Finesse is suing Miller for using the instrumental from his song "Hip 2 Da Game" for Mac's song "Kool Aid & Frozen Pizza." Miller created the song for his KIDS mixtape in 2010.
Lord Finesse stated, "I love mixtapes but this is different. And it's not a sample," stated Finesse. "Mac didn't take a piece of music and create something new. He didn't transform it into something other than what it was. He just dropped the needle on my record and changed the title."
Finesse insists that he did not give permission to Mac to use the song. He says that he's seeking "proper credit and compensation," and that he attempted to resolve the situation and never wanted to pursue legal action.
"Permission was never given. A lot of money was made on my song," he continued. "At the end of the day, I only stepped to these people for proper credit and compensation. I have done a lot of great things in hip hop and I never wanted a lawsuit. Never. I made every attempt to resolve this. But, when I reached out to these people their attitude was I should be grateful Mac was using my music to sell out concerts because it keeps me relevant. How does it keep me relevant if I'm not being credited or compensated? You've heard Mac, you've heard a portion of it from me. The truth will come out in court."
Mac Miller's label, Rosum Records replied to the lawsuit in the following statement:
There have been a lot of misstatements online and in the press, so we thought it'd be best to make some brief comments. First and foremost, we stand by Mac Miller in this situation and we will fight the case together with him.
The label's statement provides that Miller gave credit both on the video and mixtape, and that the song was never sold.
Mac never pretended that the "Hip 2 Da Game" beat was his, despite what's being said in the suit. Lord Finesse was given credit on both the video and the mixtape from the very beginning. We've never distributed "Kool Aid & Frozen Pizza" for sale on iTunes and have consistently policed digital retailers and other sites to make sure that no pirates were ever illegally selling the song.
The label also questioned why Finesse never chose to speak up about the matter before.
Lord Finesse has known about "Kool Aid & Frozen Pizza" for a long time and never objected to the use. For some reason, he has very recently changed his mind. We look forward to resolving this issue soon, and we appreciate all of the support that we have been receiving from the entire music community.
This is a very touchy issue and may change the way artists handle mixtapes and freestyles in the future. Mixtapes are an important part of the game and help an artist to get exposure. Depending how this lawsuit goes, it may open the door for other producers to go after artists for using their beats on mixtapes as soon as they blow up and become platinum selling artists. The majority of artists have released a mixtape at some point in their career, and likely have used a beat without permission. For me, I can see both sides, but I actually somewhat am behind Lord Finesse in this aspect. The difference here is that Miller made a music video to the song, uploaded to online and was making money from the track based on the number of views the video got (which were in the million).
I think artist should be free and clear if they release a mixtape or perform a freestyle if the mixtape or freestyle are completely free, and the artist or record label gets no compensation what so ever from the work. That is not what happened in this case. I don't think that Miller would be very happy if Lord Finesse took his vocals and laced them over one of his new beats, put the song online and started making money off the track.
Game In New Reality Show
In an interesting bit of news, The Game has stated that he will star in his own relatity TV show. While the show is currently untitled, Game will be front and center as camera's follow his every move as he is about to get married. The Game has teamed with 51 Minds Entertainment who will produce the show.
The show will "portray a whole new side of the rapper," and that "it will focus on Game as a devoted family man and the hooplah that surrounds planning a wedding[.]"
Production on the show began this month, and Game and 51 Minds have met with MTV and VH1 for distribution.
I know a lot of people are going to hate on this, but I for one cant wait to see this. The Game is a huge personality and if anyone will be able to keep things entertaining it will be him. The Game is known for taking calculated risks, and I feel this is another calculated risk that will likely work to increase exposure for the rapper.
Best of the Rest
There was a lot of smaller stories this week, so we will just buzz through the rest of the news.
Guerilla Black Arrested For Credit Card Fraud
Guerilla Black has been arrested for stealing thousands of stolen credit card and debit card numbers, reports Seattle Weekly. It is being reported that he was in possession of 27,257 stolen credit card numbers and close to $150,000 in fraud loss is due to only 134 of those numbers.
"Today's arrest shows that criminals cannot hide in cyberspace. We will prosecute all parts of the criminal gang - regardless of where they may be," said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan in a press release. "I commend the cyber investigators of the Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force for making sure that all the participants -- from the hackers to the end purchasers of stolen data -- are held accountable."
This is somewhat of a crazy turn of events for a rapper whos claim to fame is that he looks and raps like the late Notorious BIG. Guerilla will likely go to jail, and the hip hop world will likely not notice.
Busta Rhymes Readies Leaders of the New School Reunion
Busta Rhymes has laid the foundation for a Leaders Of The New School reunion. Busta said "stay tuned" and included a recent photograph of him pictured with L.O.N.S. cohorts Charlie Brown and Dinco D.
The Leaders Of The New School, which also included fourth member Cut Monitor Milo, released two albums, 1991's A Future Without A Past and 1993's T.I.M.E. The group was also part of the Native Tongues collective, including A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul and Jungle Brothers.
After Busta Rhymes pursued a solo career in the mid-1990s, the Leaders disbanded, after appearing on his 1995 debut The Coming.
I would be very interested in hearing a reunion album from the collective, and this is great timing as Busta Rhymes seems to have been re-energized in recent years. Going back to his roots and releasing an old school sounding album will be great for his fans as well as hip hop in general. Hopefully everything works out for this to come to fruition.
DMX hospitalized After ATV Accident
DMX seems to be destined to either be in the hospital or in prison, as the rapper was hospitalized last week after an accident involving a four-wheeler. DMX was in the hospital with a concussion and it is not clear whether alcohol was involved in the incident or not.
Since being released from prison this past year DMX has done little to nothing in regards to his comeback. He often states about how much material he has recorded since being released, however none of it has been able to see the light of day. One has to wonder whether he will be able to stay out of prison or the hospital long enough to release his comeback album.
Release Dates & Album Updates
Not a lot of album updates have been given this week. The only real tidbit comes from 50 Cent who has stated that his first single for his new album Street King Immortal will be released any day now and will feature Dr. Dre and Alicia Keys. That should be an interesting sound and how this single sounds and charts will go a long way to determine whether or not 50 can return to the top of hip hop. However, I would not hold my breath waiting for the single to be released, as 50 Cent likes to talk a lot and usually does not back up what he says.
This last Tuesday was a big day for album releases as Nas released his latest album Life Is Good which was one of the best albums of the year. However don't miss out on some sure to be great underground albums released as well including the collab album from Masta Ace and MF DOOM MA:DOOM as well as the latest from underground super producers The Snowgoons SnowGoons Dynasty. I have yet to listen to either album, but they are currently waiting for me on my ipod.
The rest of the dates can be seen below with new additions underlined, and anticipated albums in red!
8Ball - Life's Quest
Alchemist - Russian Roulette
French Montana - Excuse My French
Nas Life is Good
Masta Ace & MF DOOM MA DOOM
SnowGoons Snowgoons Dynasty
REKS - REBELutionary
Big Shug - I.M. 4 E-VA
Parallel Thought - The Art Of Sound
Rick Ross - God Forgives, I Don't
Necro - The Murder Murder Kill Kill Double EP
La Coka Nostra - Masters Of the Dark Arts
Chino XL RICANstruction
Bumpy Knuckles x Statik Selektah Ambition
G.O.O.D. Music - Cruel Summer
2 Chainz Based on a TRU story
Kreayshawn - Somethin' Bout Kreay
Insane Clown Posse - Might Death Pop
DJ Khaled Kiss The Ring
Brother Ali - Mourning In America & Dreaming In Color
Wiz Khalifa - O.N.I.F.C.
Slaughterhouse - welcome to: Our House
Madchild (Swollen Members) - Dope Sick
Stu Bangaz & Eric Vanderslice - Diggaz With Attitude (D.W.a.)
T.I. - Trouble Man
Blu and Exile - Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them
Saigon - Bread and Circuses
Ludacris - Ludaversal
Skyzoo - A Dream Deferred
DJ Drama - Quality Street Music
Ne-Yo - R.E.D.
Lupe Fiasco - Food & Liquor 2: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1
Bobby V - Dusk Till Dawn
Kendrick Lamar - Good Kid, m.A.A.d City
Swizz Beatz - Haute Living 
Fabolous Loso's Way 2 
Other Recent Announcements
Busta Rhymes Year of the Dragon
DPG Alumni [Early 2012]
Asher Roth Is This Too Orange [TBD]
R.A. the Rugged Man Legends Never Die [Mid 2012]
Inspectah Deck and 7L & Esoteric CZARFACE [Mid 2012]
Cee Lo Everybody's Brother 
Goodie Mob Age Against the Machine 
Kool G Rap & Necro The Godfathers