The top-ranked rapper and founder of the Sean John clothing line, Sean Combs, appears to have violated numerous copyright law in a recent video that mentions the lyrics to the Young Entrepreneur track, “We Will Own The Night.” At a viewing party on August 10 hosted by Mark Cuban’s AXS TV, Diddy commented on the track and its lyrics and used them as a calling card to promote a new Sean John collection and a new partnership with the Black Enterprise Magazine. Diddy is seen taking shots of alcohol off the musician DMX’s foot and asking people, “You know what happens when you work with an entrepreneur?”
Later in the video, he produces a note that says, “Don’t doubt the power of change.” When a woman asks him if he’s rapping or a motivational speaker, he says, “I’m a stand-up rapper with power.”
The lyric has since been attached to the videos and social media accounts of several brands Combs has collaborated with in the past, including his Sean John line, after an article by The Undefeated criticized the rapper for allegedly ripping off the lyrics of young entrepreneur Chayson Bowens, who founded the $2.5 million franchise Grinder Kit.
I am livid that Diddy co-opted my song, forcing me to pay out 4 figures and giving him the opportunity to influence young people to view me as a bad person… This had to be right? 😂 pic.twitter.com/EItL9qdVTU — D̶l̶ow̶w̶g̶ (@chaysonbowens) August 13, 2018
The series of tweets following the video launched an immediate firestorm of criticism, with Bowens declaring he was angry about the way the rapper and his followers had handled the situation. “I am livid that Diddy co-opted my song, forcing me to pay out 4 figures and giving him the opportunity to influence young people to view me as a bad person,” he tweeted. “I’m the wrong dude, my track was to show how you can own your own success even after suffering a horrible injury and I think it goes to show how thirsty you all are.”
On August 16, Jay Rodriguez, general counsel for Bowens, filed a cease-and-desist letter to The Diddy brand, asking that it stop using the lyrics and stop promoting it on any of its social media accounts, according to The Undefeated. Rodriguez also said the music in the video sounded like “trash” and was “entirely derivative of my client’s work.” The Diddy brand has yet to respond to the letter.
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