Review Summary: NEW YORK TIMES23 of 25 thought this review was well writtenROCK MUSIC V. DWAYNE MICHAEL CARTER, JR.
By MIKE JOHNSON
Published: March 11th, 2011
Washington, D.C. --
After many speculations, press conferences, announcements, and interviews, the case of Rock Music v. Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. has finally made its way to the United States Supreme Court and the session is expected to begin this Saturday. The case was scheduled to begin early January this year, but because Dwayne Carter, Jr. had not been released from prison yet, it was suspended.
The Rock Musicians Union had filed a lawsuit against the rapper that goes by “Lil Wayne” on grounds of defamation and slander [against the musical genre of rock.] They are reportedly seeking all of the revenue garnered from Wayne’s February 2010 album Rebirth
is best known as one of the only rap (despite being a rock/rap crossover) albums to go diamond, and being a RIAA certified 13x platinum album. The sum of money the album generated is expected to be between $129.7 and 134.2 million dollars.
So what does the Rock Musicians Union plan to do with all the money? Chairman Chaim Witz stated, “We plan on using it [the revenue] to buy out radio stations who promote garbage, such as this, and misrepresent it as music. We will then sell shares of the radio stations to quality rock record labels, and the rest will go to charity.”
Lil Wayne came to his own defense, saying, “This is a violation against my right of free speech. I’m entitled to make music the way I wish to, and if that means I have to misrepresent the rock star persona and abuse a guitar, so be it.”
During the first day, several witnesses were called to the stand, including Bryan “Birdman” Williams, Ringo Starr, Axl Rose, and the reanimated corpse of Jimi Hendrix. The main evidence submitted was Lil Wayne’s album, which was listened all the way through, and caused Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to faint. Which was followed by a brief period of subconsciousness, which all happened about two minutes into the song Prom Queen.
“It was terrible,” she said, “His raspy, lazy vocals; young, rich American rebel lyrics; and low quality, ‘poser’ teenage garage band rock mixed with ‘club’ hip hop was a disgusting mutant, formed out of the two bad characteristics of two legitimate musical genres. This will certainly not help his case.”
On a phone call, Michael “Mike D” Diamond of The Beastie Boys commented on the issue, stating that he regretted he and his group kick started the rap-rock concept. “I really wish I hadn’t [been involved in the making of it.] I mean, it would have been done anyway, but I still feel responsible for this low point in music history.”
Demetrius “Meanie” Hardin of the Shop Boyz, the group best known for their hit song Party Like a Rockstar, showed up in support of Mr. Carter. “This is a really good album,” he said, “it gets a big thumbs up from me. I don’t understand why the union is mad over this.”
A small addition to Lil Wayne’s troubles was Soulja Boy, who commented via YouTube that he had ‘beef’ with the rapper because “Lil Wayne took my job; I’m supposed to be the king of mainstream hip hop, and this (expletive) is trying to steal this (expletive) from me, and I don’t appreciate it.”
Production of Lil Wayne’s upcoming album Rebirth 2
has been postponed, and any further sales of Rebirth
have been put on hold until given clearance by the court, citing Baltimore, Maryland otalaryngologist O.W. Mears. Dr. Mears said, "This album clearly posseses a public health threat to one's ears. Listening to Rebirth
over an extended period of time exposes you to the possibility of chronic ear drum damage. I highly advise not listening to this album."
Court will resume on March, 13th, as Justice Ginsburg was rushed to Georgetown University Medical Center for precautionary reasons. She is expected to stay there for two nights and a day, or until cleared medically.
NY Times legal analyst Jim Cummings says of the case, "Looks like the Union has a lot on Wayne. So far, it's not looking good for him, expect him to get buried in a landslide. They're giving him a run for the money." Literally, so.