Legal and Management

2 Chainz & TeeFlii Sued for Copyright Infringement Over '24 Hours' Single

2 Chainz
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2 Chainz attends the AT&T Slam Dunk as part of the 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend at Spectrum Center on Feb. 16, 2019 in Charlotte, N.C.

Composers of Robin S.'s "Back It Up" claim the "dominant theme" from the 1993 track was willfully co-opted for TeeFLii's 2014 hit.

Hip-hop artist TeeFLii and his collaborators on the 2014 single "24 Hours" have been hit with a copyright lawsuit alleging they ripped off Robin S.'s 1993 track "Back It Up," according to a lawsuit filed in federal district court in New York last week.    

The suit was brought by "Back It Up" composers Allen George and Sten Hallström (a.k.a. Stonebridge), as well as the estate of late co-composer Frederick McFarlane and music publisher EMI Blackwood. The plaintiffs accuse TeeFLii -- along with 2 Chainz, DJ Mustard and DJ Ketchup -- of "willful" infringement of the "dominant theme" from the song, albeit "with minor modifications and a tempo change." Sony Music, which wholly owns Epic Records, the label that released the song, was also named as a defendant in the suit.   

"Defendants' access to Plaintiffs' work is beyond challenge, as Robin S. is a well-known American house music singer and songwriter," the suit reads. It goes on to cite success of the singer's Show Me Love album, on which "Back It Up" appeared. The album remained on the Billboard 200 chart for 110 weeks and the title track topped the Hot Dance Music/Club Play and Hot Dance Singles Sales charts, and hit No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100.   

The plaintiffs are seeking damages "in amounts to be determined at trial," which they estimate to be in excess of $10 million, as well as a proper split of royalties from "24 Hours" going forward.    

A lawyer for the plaintiffs declined to comment for this story. A representative for Epic Records did not respond as of press time. 

As stated in the suit, "24 Hours" has been streamed over 25 million times on YouTube and over 27 million times on Spotify. Additionally, it peaked at No. 85 on the Billboard Hot 100 and at No. 21 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.