Kanye West, Crime Boss?

Your boy Kanye West is mixed up in a landmark case surrounding the way the music we love is made. According to AllHipHop.com Mr. West (along with a slew of other producers, labels and executives) is the subject of a civil complaint issued in the Central District of California. The complaint makes major claims of copyright infringement, contributory infringement, and (craziest of all) RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) charges. Trena Steward and Lorenzo Pryor, descendants of  late musician David Pryor, are suing for the unlawful use of their dad’s 1974 stomper “Bumpin’ Bus Stop”. The lawsuit is also said to include Roc-a-Fella Records, Bad Boy Records, Stones Throw Records, Bomb Hip-Hop Records, Autumn Games, Activision, Caroline Distribution and The Island Def Jam Music Group–so you’re talking’ major, indie, video games, distributors–pretty much every major knock of the modern-day music industry pie. This must be extra annoying for Mr. West, especially coming off of your man Ray J’s venomous monkey bars on “I Hit That First.” We know that Ye said that “Jesus Walks”, but right about now he might need the holy one to Moon Walk…


Our original post mentioned that Kanye West and the accompanying parties/entities were being “indicted” for RICO/copyright infringement charges, when in fact, the case is still in the civil complaint stage. The likelihood of it evolving into an actual indictment will be up to the courts during the upcoming hearing.


Related Articles

Kanye West “All Day”

Kanye West “New Slaves” premiere

Kanye West “Black Skinhead”

Theophilus London “Can’t Stop (Snippet)” ft. Kanye West

Kanye West “Black Skinhead”

Kanye West Launches Mysterious Countdown

  • Detroit Murder Dog

    there was a complaint filed in a civil lawsuit. there is not an “indictment” or a criminal case.

  • espy.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUCEVFpFqEc i think this is the version of the song, not the youtube video posted.

  • Fat_Face_Rick

    I was just about to post the same thing. This is NOT a RICO case. It is merely a civil action brought in federal court that alleges criminal copyright infringement. Rat Lord… more like Moron Lord

  • Rat Lord

    Thanks Espy! We originally meant to put that link up. Fixed.

  • Rat Lord

    Detroit Murder Dog you’re absolutely correct. We’ve updated our wording. The case currently stands as a civil complaint seeking copyright infringement, contributory infringement and RICO charges. Any advancements are still pending court hearing.

  • Rat Lord

    Fat_Face_Rick we’ve updated this post. RICO charges have indeed been filed in the plaintiff’s complaint, their validity, however, will depend on the civil court’s ruling.

  • Fat_Face_Rick

    A RICO charge is an indictment under the federal criminal organized crime statutes and must be brought by the US government aka a US Attorney. A civil complaint cannot be ‘evolve’ in to a criminal complaint, however civil complaints may allege criminal behavior but the judge in a civil case has no power to impose criminal sanctions without an indictment in a separate criminal case. Shit ain’t a RICO case, son. I’m a lawyer. You’re welcome.

  • Kevin Crumbs

    Damn, this dude’s law career must be super busy if he has time to troll on Mass Appeal.

  • Rat Lord

    Fat_Face_Rick Whoa “son” not sure if you’re defending your career or your streed cred here. Whatever the case, your beef with what’s listed on the civil document can easily be resolved by putting down the keyboard and picking up the phone–like we did. Contact info for the law offices that filed the complaint is available via the source we linked. Verifying those public records shouldn’t be too hard. But what do we know? We’re no lawyers…

  • Fat_Face_Rick

    Hey you’re right I was being a dick about it. It’s just that the lawsuit document linked to on allhiphop has nothing to do w criminal “charges” against anyone unfortunately, including Kanye even though they do allege illegal conduct. I’m glad to see mass appeal is thorough in verifying their stories. What I saw in the documents made it seem like the article (and also the article on allhiphop) misunderstood or mis-characterized the nature of the lawsuit. Was not tryin to be a troll or anything, just would not want to see y’all putting out inaccurate or misleading info.

  • Fat_Face_Rick

    Zing! Nice. Lol