Producer Claims DJ Khaled Stole His Beat

ATLANTA (CN) — An Atlanta music producer claims in court that hip hop star DJ Khaled ripped off one of his beats and used it in the hit song “I Got the Keys,” featuring rappers Jay Z and Future.

In a complaint filed Feb. 9 in the federal court in Atlanta, Chris Hill alleges DJ Khaled used his copyrighted beat (titled “Chris Hill Beats (Gangsta Boogie Vol. 2)”) as the basis for the introduction to the hit single “I Got The Keys.”

The song was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in December 2016, after it had dominated radio play for months, but Hill says he has yet to see a dime of the profits.

He says he met DJ Khaled In 2008, when they both attended a party at ESSO nightclub in Atlanta.

Hill claims he approached the rapper to give him a copy of the beat CD featuring the copyrighted song, and that one of DJ Khaled’s associates accepted it.

DJ Khaled’s song “I Got the Keys” was released on July 4, 2016, and Hill says he was surprised he was not listed alongside the three credited producers on the recording, despite the song’s beat bearing notable similarities to the work he shared with the rapper in 2008.

Since its release, “I Got the Keys” has garnered over 79 million views on YouTube, and it continues to generate profits via downloads and online streaming services, the complaint says.

Hill says he owns the exclusive rights to the copyrighted beat, and never gave anyone permission to use it. He claims DJ Khaled, his producers, and Sony Music Entertainment willfully infringed on those rights. Hill claims that “Defendants knew that the [beat] was substantially similar,” he says, but still failed to seek permission to use it.

A representative of DJ Khaled did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Hill seeks an injunction preventing the distribution, marketing, and sale of the song and a recall of all copies of the single. Hill also demands all the disgorgement of all profits generated by the song, and $150,000 in damages for the willful infringement of the copyrighted beat.

He is represented by Thomas Mihill of Cannon, Mihill & Winkles in Atlanta.

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