With news breaking about the lawsuit between the underground’s longtime favorite Three6Mafia and the new underground kingpins $uicideboy$, we’re going to explore how this can effect smaller phonk artists who follow the footsteps of these two groups.
Sampling has been around since the beginning of hip hop and is nothing new, though with sampling comes copyright lawsuits as not all musicians are happy about people looping their creation.
Many early hip hop producers such as Dj Premier, J Dilla, Madlib, RZA, Q Tip, Daz, Erick Sermon and more used sampling by going to record stores and searching for records that they could flip on their MPC’s into hip hop beats.
In fact hip hop was largely known for sampling as live bands were not accessible for these artists that were apart of a primarily unfunded underground genre at the time. Wu Tang Clan’s RZA expressed this in his new Wu Tang Clan Hulu Series which shows a young RZA trying to steal a MPC to create beats by sampling records he found.
When it comes to the Three6Mafia and $uicideboy$ lawsuit, we’re basically dealing with a similar situation but far worse.
$uicideboy$ since they started as a group had virtually copied Three6Mafia in every way they possibly could.
The flows which were easily comparable to Lord Infamous and other members such as Crunchy Black and DJ Paul. Samples were used from over 30 Three6Mafia beats which included their vocals chopped and screwed, or sped up and interpolated followed by verses of the $uicideboy$. At one point Scrim had actually taken Lord Infamous‘s nickname ‘Scarecrow‘.
Most of the beats and vocals used were not interpolated which basically means these songs are flat out copyright infringement. Even if the songs were interpolated there’s still a huge possibility of losing this case.
Now let’s talk about what happens if Three6Mafia wins the lawsuit.
If Three6Mafia wins this lawsuit $uicideboy$ will either have a majority of the songs they sampled Three6Mafia in; removed from streaming platforms similar to their song ‘Antarctica’, OR they’ll forfeit a certain percentage of stream money to the Three6Mafia crew which’ll most likely be a 50/50 split. This split will most likely be broken down with Three6Mafia taking 50% while Ruby and Scrim taking 25% each for themselves.
Following this, many phonk artists will receive copyright strikes or copyright claims for songs that they sampled vocals or beats from Three6Mafia after a few months pass by.
In this case most artists who rapped on songs containing Three6Mafia beat samples from a producer who didn’t purchase beat kits from Three6Mafia brand will also have their songs taken down completely.
If Three6Mafia loses the lawsuit, $uicideboy$ and phonk artists will remain untouched and should be allowed to use beat samples and vocals as they please.
We suggest watching this lawsuit very closely.