Jul 4, 2024 2 min read

Cardi B hit with beat theft lawsuit over ‘Enough (Miami)’

Two Texas musicians are suing Cardi B claiming her single ‘Enough (Miami)’ uses the beat from their 2021 track ‘Greasy Frybread’. The lawsuit also seeks to clarify ownership of the original song, amid conflicting credits

Cardi B hit with beat theft lawsuit over ‘Enough (Miami)’

Cardi B has been accused of copyright infringement by Texas-based musicians Joshua Fraustro and Miguel Aguilar. The pair claim that the rapper ripped off the beat from their 2021 track ‘Greasy Frybread’ - which featured in the FX TV show ‘Reservation Dogs’ - and that she used it on her recent single ‘Enough (Miami)’ without getting permission. 

The lawsuit has been filed against Cardi B, her collaborators and Warner Music-owned Atlantic Records. Fraustro and Aguilar seemingly believe that the unauthorised use of the beat is sufficiently straightforward that it can be simply stated as fact in their lawsuit, with no comparison between the two tracks, or explanation for how Cardi B’s team came to use the beat.

The filing simply states, “defendant Cardi B, along with other defendants, has used the song in her new album without permission. The song ‘Enough (Miami)’ by Cardi B was released under the label Atlantic Records on 15 Mar 2024”.

It then alleges various different kinds of copyright infringement, before requesting an injunction stopping the distribution and performance of the infringing track - and, of course, lots of lovely damages. 

Adding complexity to the case, it appears that there is the potential for a dispute over the creation and ownership of ‘Greasy Frybread’. 

The track was performed by Sten Joddi and released on his label Tattoo Muzik. Spotify credits several songwriters, including Bobby Wilson, Kyle Culley, Sterlin Harjo and Tommy Pico, alongside Joddi. Aguilar gets a production credit under his producer name Kemika1956, but no songwriter credit.

On the US collecting society databases, Wilson, Culley, Harjo and Pico are all listed as co-writers, but neither Fraustro nor Aguilar are mentioned. This discrepancy may explain why the lawsuit also requests a court declaration establishing Fraustro and Aguilar’s “ownership of the copyright in the musical composition ‘Greasy Frybread’”. 

As CMU reported yesterday, there are an increasing number of lawsuits involving copyright infringement of stems, beats and loops. 

With some of those involving blurred lines of attribution from collaborations, and others, as in this case, seemingly involving contributors who have not been accurately credited, it’s becoming increasingly important for labels, artist, producers and everyone else involved in the creation of songs and recordings to be clear about who contributed what, and who is allowed to use which elements in what context. 

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