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Drake dismissed from song-theft lawsuit over his Chris Brown collab

By | Published on Wednesday 27 April 2022


The songwriters who have accused Chris Brown and Drake of ripping off one of their tracks on the 2019 hit ‘No Guidance’ have dismissed their legal claims against the latter, but not the former. Though it’s not currently entirely clear why.

Singer Braindon Cooper and producer Timothy Valentine sued Brown and Drake last year, claiming that ‘No Guidance’ rips off their 2016 track ‘I Love Your Dress’. In their lawsuit, the plaintiffs said that “in addition to containing similar beat patterns, the melody and lyrics used in the chorus/hook of ‘No Guidance’ – ‘you got it, girl; you got it’ – are so strikingly similar to those used in the chorus of ‘I Love Your Dress’ that they cannot be purely coincidental”.

Brown and Drake were pretty scathing in their response to that lawsuit, saying in a legal filing in January that Cooper and Valentine’s litigation was entirely premised upon “the alleged similarity between the wholly generic lyrical phrase ‘you got it’ and the alleged similar (and unoriginal) theme of a hard-working, attractive woman”.

They added: “No one, including plaintiffs, can own or monopolise the non-copyrightable phrase ‘you got it’, and it should come as no surprise that this phrase appears in countless other works. Also, lyrical themes are simply unprotectable as a matter of law”.

Cooper and Valentine then hit back at those claims, arguing that Brown and Drake had ignored their expert musicologist’s conclusion that “the two works share a ‘high degree of combined similar features’”. And that while each of those features in isolation may be common in plenty of previous songs, the way those features are combined in both ‘I Love Your Dress’ and ‘No Guidance’ are not.

As the dispute continues to go through the motions, Cooper and Valentine’s legal reps made a new filing with the court on Monday stating that “all claims asserted against Aubrey Drake Graham aka Drake … shall be, and hereby are, dismissed with prejudice and without costs or attorneys’ fees as against any party”.

It’s not clear if that dismissal was the result of some kind of deal being done with Drake, or whether Cooper and Valentine have simply decided that their case against Brown is stronger.

Although the plaintiffs’ theory for how the defendants might have had access to ‘I Love Your Dress’ before creating ‘No Guidance’ was based on Cooper sending music to an A&R rep linked to Drake’s then label Cash Money Records, so you’d think Drake’s involvement in writing ‘No Guidance’ is kind of key to their claim.

Whatever. Brown’s legal reps continue to try and get the judge to dismiss this lawsuit outright. If that bid fails, it will be interesting to see how this particular song-theft legal battle now progresses.