James Arthur is upset. The British singer, who rose to fame in 2012 after winning The X Factor, is in the midst of a lawsuit over his 2016 comeback single “Say You Won’t Let Go,” which attorneys for The Script say is too similar the Irish group’s 2008 hit “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved.”
Arthur let it all out during a recent session on BBC Radio One’s Live Lounge, when he dropped a hard-hitting freestyle in the middle of his cover of Jorja Smith’s ballad “Blue Lights.”
“Did you see… those desperate men call for desperate times,” he rhymes on the video, posted Tuesday (July 3), in which he appears to be lashing out at the band that’s suing him. “But they will never see a single flippin’ dime of mine/I’m dynamite, every single line I write/Inspired by life/You can get your lawyers to indict me/You rich fellows that jealous you would spite me/You should know I never follow The Script/I rip it up and I flip it/I’m from the gutters of Britain.”
And that’s not all. Arthur also boasted about going from nothing to having “millions,” hitting out at “all the snakes full of jealousy are praying I’ll flop.”
The civil suit, filed in May in Los Angeles County Superior Court on behalf of Script songwriters Daniel O’Donoghue, Mark Sheehan, Andrew Frampton and Stephen Kipner, was spearheaded by attorney Richard Busch, who represented the estate of Marvin Gaye in the landmark “Blurred Lines” trial; it alleges that Arthur has generated $20 million from “Won’t Let Go.”
The suit also names “Say You Won’t Let Go” co-writers Neil Ormandy and Steve Solomon as co-defendants, along with Sony/ATV Publishing, Sony Music, Columbia Records, Ultra International Music Publishing, Third Verse Music Publishing and Kobalt Music Publishing.
“Say You Won’t Let Go” was a big hit, spending 52 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, with 845 million streams on Spotify and more than 630 million plays on YouTube to date. According to the suit, Arthur allegedly approached members of The Script about collaborating on a project together in 2014 and was turned down by the band. Busch alleges that Arthur then copied “the essence” of “The Man Who Can Not Be Moved.”
Watch the video below.