It must be pretty dope for a young, up-and-coming artist to suddenly hear a song he laid down lyrics for and sang on pop up on the radio.
Not as dope?
When the very same song suddenly pops up on the radio and, instead of the up-and-coming artist, already-established artists Jamie Foxx and 2 Chainz are singing on it.
Yet that is precisely the scenario local artist J Rand found himself in.
Rand, who was named a 2014 "Artist on the Verge" by USA Today, had the track "Party Ain't a Party" laid down specifically for him by DJ Mustard while Rand penned his own lyrics for it. Yet, last month, radio stations across California began playing a song with Foxx and 2 Chainz singing on it that sounded suspiciously like Rand's. It even had the same title.
Even more shady, DJ Mustard stopped taking Rand's calls. So Rand decided that this aggression would not stand, man, and his record company, Nontra Records, decided to embark on the tried-and-true American tradition of suing. Nontra filed a suit against Foxx, Mustard, and 2 Chainz for a cool $150,000.
According to the suit, Mustard sent the music to Rand in 2013. It was to serve as a follow-up to his earlier single "Sexual Habit." Rand threw down his own lyrics and recorded them. Soon after, Nontra acquired the rights to Rand's music and, in turn, was able to promote the song in California. The track received plenty of airtime and landed Rand a guest spot on a radio show called The Cookie Jar with the intent of showcasing the track as Rand and Mustard's song. And then, without warning, Mustard vanished off Nontra's radar and stopped returning calls. Not long after that, Foxx and 2 Chainz's version of the song suddenly popped up on the radio.
The suit worked. Sorta.
Nontra's attorney, Darren Heitner, told New Times this week that after filing the lawsuit, his client was hit with a barrage of messages from the other party. "My understanding is my client was able to resolve the underlying issues that provided the cause of action." Heitner pulled the suit the next day. He could not comment on whether a financial arrangement was made between the parties.
Send your story tips to the author, Chris Joseph.