A California-based songwriter is suing Roddy Ricch for copyright infringement, claiming the rapper’s highest-charting megahit “The Box” rips off elements of his 1975 song, “Come On Down.”
Greg Perry filed his lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan on Tuesday, alleging in his 18-page complaint that Ricch and Atlantic Records, among other co-defendants, released “The Box” in 2019 with “a complete duplication” of portions of his song, most notably its distinctive violin opening.
“Expert musicology analysis confirms that the ascending minor scale played by violin at the opening of ‘Come On Down’ is a distinctive musical element which recurs a total of six times throughout the song,” the lawsuit obtained by Rolling Stone states.
“Comparative analysis of the beat, lyrics, hook, rhythmic structure, metrical placement, and narrative context by a musicology expert demonstrates clearly and convincingly that ‘The Box’ is an unauthorized duplication and infringement of certain elements of ‘Come On Down,’” the paperwork alleges.
According to Perry, his song is well-known in the music industry. He says in his complaint that Island Def Jam licensed “Come One Down” in 2008 for use in Young Jeezy’s “Wordplay” and granted Perry a 60 percent interest in the song’s copyright.
In 2016, Epic Records licensed a sample of “Come On Down” for use in Yo Gotti’s song “I Remember,” the filing claims.
“The use of the distinctive compositional elements of ‘Come On Down’ have remained so popular in both the R&B and rap community that access to the composition is firmly established,” the complaint argues.
A representative for Ricch at Atlantic Records did not immediately respond to Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.
“The Box” received three Grammy nominations and was named Rolling Stone‘s Top Song of 2020, pulling in an astounding 866 million on-demand audio streams that year.