A U.S. district court judge ruled the lyrics 'party and bullshit' constitute fair use.
A copyright lawsuit brought by a member of spoken-word group The Last Poets over lyrics used in The Notorious B.I.G.'s 1993 hit "Party and Bullshit" has been dismissed, according to court documents reviewed by Billboard. The suit, originally filed in March 2016 by poet Abiodun Oyewole, alleged that the title of the track and its hook lifted words from Oyewole's 1968 spoken-word track "When The Revolution Comes," and had sought $24 million in damages.
The original lawsuit did not just include the Biggie track, but also referred to Rita Ora's 2012 single "How We Do (Party)," which samples the hook of "Party and Bullshit." (Originally, it also cited the 2014 Busta Rhymes and Eminem track "Calm Down," naming both Trevor Smith and Marshall Mathers as defendants, though Oyewole later voluntarily dismissed those claims.)
Accordingly, Oyewole named some 14 defendants in his suit, including Rita Ora; the Notorious B.I.G. Estate; "Party and Bullshit" producer Easy Moe Bee and his Bee Moe Easy Music publishing company; Diddy's Justin Combs Company; "How We Do (Party)" producers The Runners (aka producers Jermaine Jackson and Andrew Harr) and The Monarch (aka producers Sean Davidson and Andre Davidson) and songwriter/producer Kelly Sheehan; Motown chief Berry Gordy, Jr. -- listed as a songwriter on "How We Do" -- and his Jobete Music and Stone Diamond Music publishing companies; Roc Nation, Ora's label at the time; and publishers Warner/Chappell Music, Sony/ATV, EMI Music Publishing, Kobalt Music and Downtown Music, among a handful of others.