Rap stars Offset, 2 Chainz, and YG can thank god – literally – for saving them from a potentially costly lawsuit over their song “Proud.”
A rapper named Slugga marched into court in February of 2020, claiming the trio ripped him off and stole his song “Proud” and made a tune with the same name.
Slugga argued that the two songs have similar lyrics and music, as well as the same hook – “I’m just tryin’ to make my mama proud.”
The rapper said he released his version of “Proud” in 2015 and that the trio could have easily heard his song, which was featured on a variety of hip-hop sites and digital streaming platforms.
Offset, 2 Chainz, and YG released their version of the song in 2018, leading Slugga to believe his track was co-opted by Offset, 2 Chainz, and YG.
However, the judge overseeing the case disagreed and threw the lawsuit out of court.
“The two compositions share no other lyrics, and the only other similarities cited by Plaintiff are the vague facts that both use call and-response, have a 2/4 time signature, and begin with a sustained note or chord played by an organ. A 2/4 signature and organ instrumentation are common to music,” U.S. District Judge Lewis J. Liman ruled. “No inference can be drawn that Defendants had access to Plaintiff’s composition because they both used a 2/4 time signature and an organ.”
Slugga, born Solomon Clanton, was defeated by the wisdom of another famous Solomon – King Solomon, author of Proverbs in the Bible, as well as William Shakespeare.
“The sentiment of trying to look good in the eyes of one’s parents or to make them pleased— [is] a notion common enough to human relations as well as to art and literature for millennia,” Judge Liman explained, citing Proverbs in the Bible, (“A wise son maketh a glad father,”) and William Shakespeare (“Though soft-conscienced men can be content to say it was for his country, he did it to please his mother.’).
“Copyright does not protect ideas or themes,” Judge Liman ruled, dismissing Slugga’s lawsuit with prejudice, meaning the rapper cannot file an appeal, and the case is permanently closed.