Black Eyed Peas frontman and project leader will.i.am and super producer Pharrell Williams are currently locked in an increasingly convoluted legal battle, with the two now filing multiple suits against one another.
The case began when in what might be one of the most staggering displays of hip hop hubris and utter hypocrisy ever, will.i.am issued a cease and desist letter to Pharrell, over the latter’s use of “I Am” in his branding. Pharrell is the head of a multi-media creative collective named i am OTHER, who maintain a popular YouTube channel and website.
According to TMZ, Pharrell reacted by filing his own lawsuit in order to secure the right to use the somewhat popular phrase in his brand. The BEP member countersued, with the notoriously fast and loose producer shamelessly claiming that his label mate on Interscope Records has a “copycat history.”
In his suit, will.i.am cited, among other things, Pharrell’s label Star Trak Records, an homage to the producer’s beloved sci-fi series, as evidence of a plagiaristic streak, as well the recent suit filed by the family of Marvin Gaye over the Pharrell-produced Robin Thicke hit, Blurred Lines.
No word yet on whether the Black Eyed Peas frontman plans to take action against the owners of I Am Legend or Dr. Seuss. In the meantime, fans are left to ponder if this isn’t all just a bit hypocritical of will.i.am, who back in April admitted to stealing the beat for a Chris Brown track, later claiming it was a mistake.
The rapper-producer also raised the ire of DJ Adam Freeland some time back, when will.i.am allegedly stole the DJ’s song Mancry for the BEP song Party All The Time. Rapper Phoenix Phenom likewise claimed that will.i.am ripped off his song Boom Dynamite for the 2009 BEP hit Boom Boom Pow.
Most famously in 2007, will.i.am got into hot water with French duo Daft Punk, who didn’t take kindly to the rapper’s heavy sampling of their hit Around The World for use in the remix of his first solo single. Many at the time claimed that the video for the remix was likewise a style-jack of Daft Punk’s Human After All-era videos.
Watch: will.i.am Feat. Paradiso Girls – I Got It From My Mama (Remix)