Roddy Ricch and producer 30 Roc are facing a copyright infringement lawsuit over the rapper’s mega-hit “The Box.”
In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Manhattan, California-based musician Greg Perry alleges that Roddy Ricch’s track “The Box” rips off elements of his 1975 song “Come On Down.” In an 18-page complaint, Perry asserts that Ricch and his record label used “a complete duplication” of portions of his song in the track without permission — specifically, its distinctive violin opening.
“Expert musicology analysis confirms that the ascending minor scale played by violin at the opening of ‘Come On Down’ is a distinctive musical element which recurs a total of six times throughout the song,” according to the suit.
“Comparative analysis of the beat, lyrics, hook, rhythmic structure, metrical placement, and narrative context by a musicology expert demonstrates clearly and convincingly that ‘The Box’ is an unauthorized duplication and infringement of certain elements of ‘Come On Down.’
The filing also highlights that “Come On Down” has been sampled notably in other songs. Specifically, Young Jeezy’s “Wordplay” in 2008 and Yo Gotti’s “I Remember” in 2016 are referenced and illustrate the prevalence of the composition. Perry says he was granted a 60 percent interest in the song’s copyright after Island Def Jam licensed it in 2008 for Jeezy’s “Wordplay.”
“The use of the distinctive compositional elements of ‘Come On Down’ have remained so popular in both the R&B and rap community that access to the composition is firmly established,” reads the complaint.
Representatives for Ricch at Atlantic Records have yet to respond to outlets’ requests for comment.
“The Box” was released in December 2019 with Roddy Ricch’s debut album, Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial. It received three Grammy nominations, peaking at Number One on the Billboard Hot 100, and was a breakout hit for Ricch. It was named Rolling Stone’s Top Song of 2020, with an impressive 866 million streams that year.