Juice WRLD has been sued by the pop-punk band Yellowcard for $15 million, who claim that the rapper’s 2017 song “Lucid Dreams” copies melodic elements of their song “Holly Wood Died,” according to a report in The Blast, citing court documents. The band, which split in 2017, are seeking $15 million, royalties and credit for co-ownership of the song.
The group has also sued Taz Taylor, who cowrote “Lucid Dreams,” along with producer Nicholas Mira, publisher BMG Rights Management, the Grade A Productions record label, Interscope Records, and others.
Cited in the lawsuit is an interview where Juice WRLD (who was born Jarad Higgins) talks about the influence of Fall Out Boy’s 2005 album “From Under the Cork Tree,” which was produced by Neal Avron, who also produced “Holly Wood Died.”
“Lucid Dreams” samples Sting’s “Shape of My Heart,” which is credited, but the lawsuit claims that “Holly Wood Died” is used in a similar manner, but the rapper chose “to willfully infringe the Original Work.”
“This was not a lawsuit the guys wanted to file,” said Richard Busch, an attorney for Yellowcard. “They put all of the parties on notice to try to resolve it. That notice was pretty much ignored leaving them with no real choice. As alleged in the Complaint, this is not just a generic Emo Rap song, but is a blatant copy of significant original compositional elements of ‘Holly Wood Died’ in several respects. Beyond that, everything we have to say is in the Complaint.”
A rep for Juice WRLD did not immediately respond to Variety‘s request for comment.
Originally released on SoundCloud in June of 2017, “Lucid Dreams” was officially released nearly a year later on Juice World’s debut album “Goodbye & Good Riddance.”
In the wake of plaintiff victories in copyright infringement cases over Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” (which is being appealed) and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” in recent years, there is little question that songwriters, publishers and, not least, attorneys are feeling confident of a victory or at least a settlement when going after a hit song.
The lawsuit suit says, “The Infringing Work and Infringing Sound Recording peaked at No. 2 on U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The song was on the chart for 46 weeks. The Infringing Work and Infringing Sound Recording peaked at No. 1 on Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. The song was on the chart for 34 weeks. The Infringing Work and Infringing Sound Recording peaked at No. 1 on Billboard Rhythmic Songs. The song was on the chart for 28 weeks.” It notes that as of Monday, the song’s video has racked up more than 381,307,000 views on YouTube and more than 939,955,000 streams on Spotify.