It seems reggae veteran Nardo Ranks will not get support for his lawsuit against rapper HoodCelebrityy for copyright infringement from the presumed original writer of the 90s anthem, Dem A Bleach.
In June he claimed that HoodCelebrityy, whose real name is Tina Pinnock, “pirated and extracted significant phrasing” from the 1992 hit and used the lyrics in her song Run Di Road. The lawsuit was filed in the Manhattan Federal court in June and Nardo Ranks is seeking at least $500,000 in damages.
According to his lawyer: “We acknowledge that imitation is the highest form of flattery but HoodCelebrityy imitated Nardo and calls it her own — that is breaking the law.” Both artistes are based in New York. The suit alleges that HoodCelebritty and the KSR Group, the record label that released the song on March 20, stole the song, which was produced by Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare in 1992.
However, a recent report in the Jamaican Observer indicated that the original writer said he was surprised to learn about the lawsuit and added that he felt slighted that he was not informed about it.
“As the person who write Dem A Bleach I see it as a disrespect to me that there would be a lawsuit going on regarding the song and no one contacted me. If anyone ask Nardo Ranks where the idea for the song came from, he could never tell you,” Solomon said to The Observer.
According to Solomon, who lives in Philadelphia, he wrote the song for another deejay, General Trees, who was more well known at the time but eventually he gave it to Nardo Ranks. The tune would turn out to be his breakthrough hit.
Solomon, also claimed that he is the registered writer for Dem A Bleach and said he registered through PRS For Music Limited, the United Kingdom’s largest royalties collection company.
Dem A Bleach was released during the start of the skin bleaching phenomenon in Jamaica, which still persists to this day. It enjoyed major success partly because of the message and partly because it was recorded on the same popular beat as Murder She Wrote by Chaka Demus and Pliers.