In 2009 Pittsburgh emcee Mac Miller released “Kool Aid & Frozen Pizza” that would eventually start his journey through internet stardom. With “Kool Aid & Frozen Pizza” accompanied by others in his breakout mixtape K.I.D.S., Mac went from an inspiring emcee to billboard charting rapper that was touring the world; and this was all before turning 20 years old. While this just a glimpse of Miller’s astonishing career, recent legal news has had the Miller camp under siege.
Hip-Hop legend Lord Finesse filed a legal suit against Mac Miller for $10 Million dollars for using his self-produced 1995 single, “Hip 2 Da Game,” and using the instrumental in “Kool Aid & Frozen Pizza.” While Mac Miller gave the track away for free in his mixtape, Finesse’s problem seems to be the success that was made from the track. Here is a quote from a New York Time’s article about Mac Miller’s business model: “A new generation of rappers is actively trying to build a new business model in which releasing oodles of free material online builds a fan base that paves the way for revenue streams: touring, merchandise, even something as old-fashioned as a record deal.” When described that way, it’s easier to see where Lord Finesse’s point of contention comes in. Here’s the legal statement from Lord Fineese’s legal team: “This is a case about a teenage rapper—Mac Miller—copying the music from a song written, produced and performed by Lord Finesse, a hip hop legend, changing the title and then distributing it under his own name in order to launch his music career.” Miller is facing acts of copyright infringement, unfair competition, unjust enrichment, interference and deceptive trade practices.
While I understand where both emcees are coming from, Lord Finesse has the law on his side and Mac Miller has his good intentions back firing on him. Something just doesn’t settle right with me, especially considering the date of the claim and the recent tweets from Mac as seen below. Either way, you can expect my full unbiased opinion on this situation in this weeks upcoming Conversation Starter – Share Your Passion post.
Mac Miller’s recent tweets on the situation:
“1. I made that record and video as nothing more than an 18 year old kid who wanted to rhyme and pay homage, no other intentions,” Mac added. “2. Finesse and I spoke on the phone for an hour after he heard the record and cleared the air. 3. We even planned to work on music together. 3. All I wanted to do is shed light on a generation that inspired me. 4. When I heard there was a problem, I reached out to him to try and solve it. No response. 5. Finesse never cleared the Oscar Peterson sample on the original record. I did nothing wrong. We spoke on the phone had a good conversation, he was cool with the record. It’s all love tho. I ain’t even mad at dude. He still a legend.”