Ice Cube has filed a firmly worded lawsuit against stock-trading app Robinhood for allegedly using his name and likeness without permission in an advertisement for financial-news platform Robinhood Snacks.
The 51-year-old just recently submitted the 12-page-long complaint to a California federal court, and Digital Music News obtained an exclusive copy of the corresponding filing. Ice Cube and his counsel quickly criticize Robinhood in the no-holds-barred suit, describing the entity off the bat as “an unscrupulous and predatory conglomerate,” “a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” and even an “archetypal example of an amoral corporation that places profits over people.”
“Robinhood is selling a garbage trading platform to the American public and laughing all the way to the bank. … Human lives are simply collateral damage as Robinhood single-mindedly rushes toward an initial public offering, so its feckless and apathetic Millennial founders can jump ship and live out their days in luxury and hedonism,” proceeds the legal text, referring to the 20-year-old who committed suicide after seeing a negative cash balance of over $730,000 on his Robinhood account.
In terms of the specific accusations in the Los Angeles native’s lawsuit, Robinhood on March 8th, 2021 “used the image and likeness of Ice Cube – without his permission – to promote” its “terrible products and services.” Said products and services are “the last things in the world to which Ice Cube would ever attach his image and likeness,” and on March 10th, he sent the entity a cease-and-desist letter, per the suit.
Nevertheless, Robinhood has allegedly continued to use the media – a picture of Ice Cube along with misquoted lyrics from his “Check Yo Self” track – though company higher-ups have since publicly claimed that they licensed the content.
The complaint also notes that entertainment exec Jeff Kwatinetz, who co-founded Big3 with Ice Cube and serves as COO of the rapper’s Cube Vision production business, named Robinhood in a separate action (not involving Ice Cube) and “publicly held the company to account.”
Thus, Robinhood “specifically sought to punish and make an example out of Ice Cube due to” Kwatinetz’s prior complaint, according to the newer of the two lawsuits. Moreover, “Robinhood brazenly relied on its well-publicized association with such prominent rappers when it unlawfully used Ice Cube’s image and likeness,” the text indicates, after relaying that the eight-year-old company had previously enlisted Jay-Z and Nas to appear in its promotional efforts.
Last week, Bob Dylan moved to dismiss a $7.25 million lawsuit stemming from his reportedly $300 million catalog sale, while former Republic Group president Charlie Walk filed a $60 million complaint against his former counsel for allegedly providing “botched representation” ahead of his departure from UMG.