DaBaby, Roddy Ricch, and Interscope Exec Face Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Over ‘Rockstar’

DaBaby charged felony battery
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DaBaby charged felony battery
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Photo Credit: Hot Spot ATL / CC by 3.0

DaBaby and Roddy Ricch are facing a copyright infringement lawsuit over beats that they allegedly used without permission in their 2020 hit “Rockstar.”

One Craig Mims, a producer known professionally as JuJu Beatz, just recently submitted the action to a federal court in his home state of Florida. Besides DaBaby and Roddy Ricch, the plaintiff named as defendants Project Dreams Entertainment (DaBaby’s publishing company), “Rockstar” producer and songwriter SethInTheKitchen (real name Ross Joseph Portaro), Universal Music, and Interscope Records VP Baroline Diaz, among others.

According to the filing party’s straightforward allegations, JuJu Beatz in 2019 “began communicating…in an official capacity” with Interscope’s Baroline Diaz, “who is known to associate with Defendant DaBaby specifically regarding his professional music career.”

Additionally, the plaintiff maintains that he likewise initiated “direct, email communications with representatives of DaBaby” at the “same time,” ultimately forwarding to the defendants beats entitled “Selena” (USCO registration number SRu001426125).

(JuJu Beatz currently has multiple works listed for sale on BeatStars, though these professional efforts don’t include “Selena.” The USCO database shows that “Selena,” despite having a “date of creation” in 2019, was officially registered on September 26th, 2020, or roughly five months after “Rockstar” dropped.)

In any event, the defendants allegedly “accessed ‘Selena’ on more than 40 separate occasions over a period of several weeks before the eventual release of the infringing track,” which is said to be “substantially similar to and in many portions identical to” the plaintiff’s work.

Furthermore, the defendants “did not seek or receive any authorization or permission” to use the work, JuJu Beatz’s suit drives home, and allegedly “willfully and unlawfully infringed” upon “Selena.” The plaintiff’s purported “numerous attempts to resolve this matter short of litigation” evidently failed to bring about an agreement that proved suitable to each of the involved parties.

Consequently, JuJu Beatz is seeking damages for the original “Rockstar” release, derivative works including remixes, and even live performances, which the plaintiff says “constitute separate acts of copyright infringement.”

Lastly, the peeved producer behind the action is also demanding “a permanent injunction enjoining further reproduction, sale, performance, or other use or exploitation of the infringing musical work ‘Rockstar.’”

At the time of this writing, neither DaBaby nor Roddy Ricch appeared to have addressed the lawsuit on social media. Earlier in December, Ricch was accused of copyright infringement in a separate action, centering this time on “The Box.”

According to the plaintiff in the older of the suits, California-based musician Greg Perry, Ricch lifted elements of the 1975 track “Come On Down” to create “The Box,” which has racked up 1.55 billion streams on Spotify thus far.