Monday, August 8, 2011

Rapper Sued by Waffle House Over the Track, "Waffle House"...

If a rapper made a song in honor of your restaurant, would you sue? Even if it had the possibility of making you a mandatory afterparty spot for a generation? Well, after Florida rapper J.R. Bricks started buzzing with the afterparty track, "Waffle House," he received a surprising letter from Waffle House, Inc. It was a cease-and-desist, demanding that Bricks change the name of the song and stop using the restaurant's logo.

Huh? In response, Bricks offered to change the title of the song to "WaffleHaus (After the Party)," though Waffle House, Inc. and WH Capital demanded that the title be altered further. Ultimately, the song was re-uploaded onto iTunes as "After the Party," though the Waffle House reference was allowed to remain in the chorus.

Which all seems like another half-hilarious, half-ridiculous abuse of the American legal system, where anything seems fair game for a frivolous lawsuit. Except that Bricks - whose real name is Earl Harrison, Jr. - pointed to something far more depressing. Namely, would a clean-cut country star be handed such rough justice? "I don't think Waffle House's actions were motivated by racial discrimination," Bricks said. "But I do believe it is based on cultural discrimination. I don't believe they want to see their company associated with the hip-hop lifestyle."

Which, according to Bricks, is part of a larger trend. "This reminds me of the incident with Jay-Z and Frederic Rouzaud," he continued. "Frederic, the owner of Cristal, said he wasn't happy with rappers associating themselves with his brand. Even the Tommy Hilfiger situation... it caused the whole hip-hop world to stop buying their product. These companies think hip-hop will put their product in a negative light [because] the hip-hop genre is very influential. If anything, we are giving these large corporations free promo."

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