Published Nov 08, 2011Generally, the prank-rap sketches from Saturday Night Live vets the Lonely Island have most rolling on the floor laughing, but a St. Louis production team aren't cracking smiles, as they've launched a lawsuit claiming they're due more credit on a couple of the troupe's comedy cuts.
The Hollywood Reporter explains that Aleric Banks (aka "Rick tha Ruler") and Monique Hines filed suit in New York last Thursday (November 3) alleging that they were responsible for the music behind "Like a Boss" and "Shy Ronnie." The pair are claiming willful copyright infringement and unjust enrichment as the motivation behind the case.
An interview with Banks from earlier this year explained that he had been put in touch Lonely Island leader Andy Samberg in 2008 through a mutual connection and ended up submitting some production work for the trio. First up was "Like a Boss," which popped up on 2009's Incredibad. Later on that year, Banks was approached to make music for "Shy Ronnie," a sketch that featured Samberg and Rihanna. Banks also claims in the interview that he produced another "Shy Ronnie" song for the group's follow-up, Turtleneck and Chain.
Banks and Hines were said to be ecstatic over the attention, especially when "Shy Ronnie" got nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics, but a lack of compensation for their contribution to the cut ended up forcing them to sue SNL broadcaster NBC.
The lawsuit further explains that Universal Music, who released the Lonely Island's albums, sent a "producer declaration" form that entitled Banks to a 50 percent copyright ownership of "Like a Boss," but later received a letter shrinking that number to 25 percent. Regardless, he says he hasn't received any royalties for the cut.
Neither the Lonely Island, NBC nor Universal have responded to the allegations.