Sound Check

Drake’s ex-girlfriend sues him over song royalties

Drake is known for putting his personal life in his music but maybe he should keep ex-girlfriends out of his songs.

In June 2011, the Toronto rapper released a song that would help propel his new album, Take Care, to viral video success. "Marvin's Room," which currently has more than 39 million views on YouTube, spawned a slew of celebrity remixes and has also involved him in a lawsuit that puts his song credit in jeopardy.


Drake's ex-girlfriend, Ericka Lee, is suing the rapper in an attempt to get partial songwriting credit for "Marvin's Room" (and therefore money from the royalties) claiming that she is the woman on the other end of a phone call during the song's monologue.

The suit states that Lee is suing for: "damages and disgorgement of profits on allegations of breach of fiduciary duties and unjust enrichment." According to the suit, she is also asking the judge to name her as co-writer of the song. During the tune's conception, Lee claims that she and Drake were involved in a romantic relationship, but that after the song's release, the relationship went south very fast.

The basis for this lawsuit comes from the lack of credit given to Lee's contribution to the "hook" of the tune and the song's opening monologue, in this case a voicemail message made by Lee. As The Hollywood Reporter reveals, the complaint says that the "plaintiff's contribution is highly significant to the overall work." Drake does reference Lee as "Syren Lyric Muse" in the album notes and in a statement released by his rep, "Drake tried for months to resolve the matter amicably, and he now looks forward to being vindicated in court." Drake attempted to offer Lee two percent of "publishing royalties" and then, after she lawyered up, he offered four to five percent and a $50,000 bonus to drop the suit.

Lee is also claiming that she has text messages from Drake confirming that her contribution to the song was important. According to various reports, Drake texted Lee saying, "U basically made that song" and "It's s**t without you." In addition, Drake also warned her that that "if she didn't back off about payment ... he had 'people' who would take care of 'issues like her.'" It's worth mentioning that a day after the news broke, Drake updated his Twitter status with, "Somehow destroyed my phone...and lost everything. Very unrighteous."

Lee is being represented by Neville Johnson, the same lawyer who went after Drake in 2010 for his illegal use of a sample from Playboy Enterprises' 1975 song, "Fallin' in Love," in his track "Best I Ever Had."

Oh Drake, "You could do better."

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