MANHATTAN (CN) – L’il Wayne (Dwayne Carter) illegally used the Rolling Stones’ hit, “Play With Fire,” in a “vile … sexist and offensive” knockoff called “Playing With Fire,” ABKCO Music claims in Federal Court.
ABKCO, founded by music mogul Allen Klein, says it owns most of the Mick Jagger-Keith Richards catalogue. The offending ditty is found on “Tha Carter III” album.
ABKCO cites the opening lyrics of the Stones’ song: “Well, you’ve got your diamonds and you’ve got your pretty clothes / And the chauffeur drives your car / You let everybody know / But don’t play with me, cause you’re playing with fire” and L’il Wayne’s knockoff: “So you’ve got so many diamonds / You wear all the finest clothes / And your grill is shining / As you’re driving down the streets of gold / But you can’t blame me if I set this stage on fire.”
ABKCO says it hired “noted musicologist” Anthony Ricigliano, who reported that “the similarity [in the music] is apparent to even a layperson’s ear.” Ricigliano wrote, in a letter attached to the lawsuit, “(M)ost assuredly, the composition Playing With Fire infringes the copyright of Play With Fire.”
ABKCO demands disgorgement, an accounting, punitive damages, destruction of the masters and copies, and an injunction. It is represented by Michael Kramer.
Here are the defendants: Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. pka Lil Wayne, Nicholas Mark Warwar pka StreetRunner, Jason Desrouleux, Cash Money Records, Universal Motown Republic Group, Universal Music Group Recordings, Young Money Publishing, Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp., Warner/Chappell Music, and EMI Music Publishing.