Ice Spice Hit With Copyright Lawsuit Over ‘In Ha Mood’: ‘Cannot Be Purely Coincidental’


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Ice Spice is facing a copyright lawsuit over allegations that her recent hit “In Ha Mood” was copied from a Brooklyn rapper’s earlier track.

In a complaint filed Wednesday in Brooklyn federal court, the rapper D.Chamberz (Duval Chamberlain) says Ice Spice’s 2023 song is “strikingly similar” to his own “In That Mood” that he released in 2021.

“By every method of analysis, ‘In Ha Mood’ is a forgery,” D.Chamberz’s attorneys write in their complaint, obtained by Billboard. “Any proper comparative analysis of the beat, lyrics, hook, rhythmic structure, metrical placement, and narrative context will demonstrate that ‘In Ha Mood’ was copied.”

In addition to naming Ice Spice (Isis Naija Gaston) as a defendant, the lawsuit also names her frequent producer, RiotUSA (Ephrem Lopez, Jr.), as well as Universal Music Group, Capitol Records and 10K Projects.

Released early last year following Ice Spice’s 2022 breakout, “In Ha Mood” reached No. 58 on the Hot 100 and No. 18 on the US Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs chart. It was later included on her debut EP Like..?, and she performed the song during her October appearance as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live.

But D.Chamberz says the song shares so many similarities with “In That Mood” that the overlap “cannot be purely coincidental.” He says the similar elements “go the core of each work,” and are so obvious that they’ve already been spotted by listeners.

“Non-expert listeners have independently pointed out that Defendants ‘stole’ ‘In That Mood’ in creating In Ha Mood,” the rapper’s lawyers write. “The two songs clearly employ numerous noticeably similar composition elements and lyrics, which result in a sound and feel that are very much alike.”

In any copyright lawsuit, an accuser like D.Chamberz must show that an alleged infringer had “access” to their work in order to copy it. That requirement might seem technical, but it’s often the fatal flaw in copyright cases filed by lesser-known acts, like one filed against Dua Lipa over “Levitating.”

In an effort to show “access,” Tuesday’s lawsuit notes that D.Chamberz shared “In That Mood” to his Instagram followers, and that the song got “significant airplay” on New York City radio stations, including Hot 97 and Power 105.1. It even cites one instance in which Riot allegedly posted an Instagram story of him listening to Hot 97 “less than two minutes” before the song was played on the air. And Chamberz’s lawyers also point out that Riot’s father is the well-known New York City radio personality DJ Enuff, who hosts a show on Hot 97 and allegedly “actively engaged with D.Chamberz’s social media content.”

“Based on all of the facts and circumstances known to plaintiffs, as described above, it is probable – or, at the very least, reasonably possible – that defendants heard the work and knew about the work prior to the creation and publication of ‘In Ha Mood,’” his lawyers write.

Read the full lawsuit filed against Ice Spice here:

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