In the lawsuit, Cooper and Valentine Brown accuse Drake and their “No Guidance” collaborators of stealing several items from “I Love Your Dress,” including the lyrics from the Hook – “She got it; she got it ”in“ I Love Your Dress ”versus“ You got it, girl; you got it ”in“ No Guidance ”- as well as the primary scales and a“ distinctive sound effect ”described as“ a pitch-metronome click and vocal effect through which parts of the primary vocal part seem to work ”accelerated to a high register and to the Double / echo of primary vocal voice added. “According to the lawsuit, plaintiffs consulted” highly respected musicologists “to determine similarities between the two tracks.
“Of course, any comparative analysis of beat, text, hook, rhythmic structure, metric placement and narrative context shows that ‘No Guidance’ was copied or mainly derived from ‘I Love Your Dress’,” says the lawsuit that was dated Attorney filed Neil Solomon by McLaughlin & Stern in West Palm Beach, Florida. The complaint states that “I Love Your Dress” was first released on SoundCloud in July 2016, almost three years before “No Guidance” was released. It was later recorded on Cooper’s 2019 EP My life in black and white.
Cooper, Valentine and Signature SKillz Entertainment (the company behind “I Love Your Dress”) are seeking actual and punitive damages, 50% of the publication, and proceeds from “No Guidance,” a full record of all defendants’ financial records relating to the Song – and post-trial interest and attorney’s fees.
“No Guidance” also reached # 1 poster‘s R & B / Hip-Hop Airplay, US Adult R&B Songs and US Rhythmic Charts and received a nomination for Best R&B Song at the 2020 Grammys. The song’s official music video has garnered over 374 million YouTube views while in complaint on it Attention is drawn to the fact that the main hook and refrain were used in advertisements for “various products and / or services”.
In order to create a more direct connection between Cooper and Valentine and the “No Guidance” team, the lawsuit states that in early March 2019 Microphone tea – an A&R rep with close ties to Drake’s former Cash Money Records label and associated artist management company AMAG Collective – contacted Cooper, allegedly to “discuss Cooper’s musical talents.”
After that conversation, Cooper emailed Tee through his marketing agents with a link My life in black and white. Tee reportedly then asked Cooper if he had unreleased music to air – “presumably so that Mic Tee and / or his staff could use such music with minimal risk of later infringement lawsuits,” the lawsuit said. Although Cooper never sent additional songs, he became “suspicious of the interaction” when he first heard “No Guidance,” which was released a few months later in June 2019.
To further demonstrate that the No Guidance team had access to I Love Your Dress, the complaint adds that Brown was “in regular and close contact during the time that No Guidance” was written and recorded “Founder stood with Cash Money Bryan Williams (aka Birdman) in their work as co-producers and co-stars of the feature film You ball.
“Additional social and business links between and between Mic Tee, Cash Money Records, AMAG, Brown and Drake abound,” the lawsuit continues, “and further discoveries will likely support the claim that the defendants had access to the work and actually heard it, then integrated important elements of it into the creation of No Guidance. “
Later in the lawsuit, Cooper and Valentine say they informed the defendants of their alleged injury and called for financial relief in a letter sent through their lawyers on December 15, 2020, but claim the letter was ignored.
“The complaint filed by our office speaks for itself, and we encourage anyone interested to read the allegations set out in the complaint in full,” says McLaughlin & Stern attorney Chester Ostrowski, who is representing Cooper and Valentine in the case, issued a statement poster. “The core of the lawsuit, however, is that the defendants copied the plaintiffs’ original song. I love your dress, in various material ways. The plaintiffs’ song was first recorded and published. The defendants had access to it, and we believe the evidence will show that they knowingly and intentionally copied and used substantial portions of it to create the infringing song without consent. No instructions. According to the plaintiffs, the similarities between the two songs taken together cannot be mere accident. Artists and producers should be fully or partially credited and compensated for the works they have created; that is all the plaintiffs are looking for here, and they are eagerly awaiting their day in court. “
Sony Music Entertainment, which distributed “No Guidance” and is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit, declined to comment on the story.
The other defendants named in the lawsuit are Brown’s production company Chris Brown Entertainment (aka Culture Beyond UR Experience), songwriter-producer Anderson Hernandez (aka Vinylz), songwriter-producer Joshua Louis Huizar (aka J-Louis), songwriter-producer Travis Darelle Walton (aka Teddy Walton), songwriter Nija Charles (aka Nija), songwriter Tyler Bryant (aka Velous), songwriter Michee Patrick Lebrun (aka Che Ecru) and songwriter-producer Noah Shebib (aka 40).
Also named are the publishers Songs of Universal Inc., 1damentional Publishing, Mavor & Moses Publishing (dba Roncesvalles Music Publishing), Sony / ATV, Vinylz Music Group, JLouisMusic and Songs of Amnija; and Brown’s record label RCA Records.