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Juice WRLD Estate & Dr. Luke Sued By Alleged Co-Writer Over Unpaid Profits From ‘Not Enough’

today10/18/2023

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Dr. Luke and the estate of the late Juice WRLD are facing a copyright lawsuit that claims they unfairly cut out one of the co-writers of the rapper’s 2021 track “Not Enough.”

The case, filed in California federal court Tuesday, claims that an artist named PD Beats (Pierre Orpheus DeJournette) is a credited co-writer of the song, but that Dr. Luke (Lukasz Sebastian Gottwald) and the estate of Juice WRLD (Jarad Anthony Higgins) have refused to treat him as co-owner of the copyright.

“Defendants have released, marketed, distributed, and monetized the subject song without accrediting or providing PD Beats his proportional share of the revenue,” his lawyers wrote in their complaint. “Defendants have failed to meaningfully respond, necessitating this action.”

DeJournette claims that he contributed “original guitar, performance, and production” to “Not Enough,” in addition to “writing the beats and programming the 808s” – a reference to the Roland TR-808 drum machine. Without the material he added, DeJournette says the song would be “missing key elements that form the basis of the subject song’s audience appeal.”

The lawsuit claims that DeJournette was listed as a co-writer in certain credits – although he doesn’t specify where – and that he and the other writers should “equally own the copyrights.” His lawsuit asks for a judicial declaration that he is indeed a co-owner, and a court-ordered accounting of the song’s revenue.

Reps for Dr. Luke and Juice WRLD’s estate did not immediately return requests for comment on Wednesday.

Juice WRLD, a pioneering voice in emo rap and SoundCloud rap, died of a drug overdose in December 2019 while onboard a private jet flying from Los Angeles to Chicago. Citing law enforcement sources, TMZ reported days later that the rapper swallowed a large number of pills to hide them from federal agents who were waiting for the plane to land.

Released on his posthumous 2021 album Fighting Demons, “Not Enough” spent a week at No. 80 on the Hot 100. The album itself was a bigger hit, spending 72 weeks on the Billboard 200 and peaking at No. 2.

Tuesday’s lawsuit named Juice WRLD’s mother, Carmella Wallace, as a defendant because she serves as the executor of his estate, as well as a company called Juice WRLD Music LLC. Other defendants included co-writers CB Mix (Chris Barnett) and KBeaZy (Keegan Christopher Bach); Universal Music Group, which released the song under its Interscope Records imprint; and Opus Music Group, which acquired a majority stake in Juice WRLD’s catalog in 2022.

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