It looks as though a real life, late night drunken phone call has turned into a full fledge lawsuit for Drizzy.
On Friday, reports surfaced stating that a woman claiming to be Drake’s ex-girlfriend filed a lawsuit over his popular track ‘Marvin’s Room’. According to the lawsuit, a woman by the name of Ericka Lee, says that she was featured in the song but was robbed of her royalties and wants him to pay up.
In the song, based on a mid-night drunk dial from a female friend, Drake sings ‘You can do better’ to a woman on the phone and Ericka is saying that it’s her voice but she wasn’t given co-writing credits. She says she and Drake linked up in early 2010 and the two decided to mix business with pleasure sharing lyrics and poems. Before their homie-lover-friend romance ended in late 2011, they talked about Ericka jumping on ‘Marvin’s Room’ singing the hook, giving an opening monologue for the track and sharing 50% of the royalties. To make it worse for Drizzy, the lawsuit says that Erika has text messages where he acknowledges that she worked on the song.
“U basically made that song.” Another read, “It’s s–t without you.”
Apparently Ericka was given credit for her part in the song but it’s under “Syren Lyric Muse.” She tried making a claim with the U.S. Copyright Office on July of last year, but Cash Money made their own claim stating she was an ‘employer for hire’. After ‘Marvin’s Room’ hit the streets, the relationship between Ericka and Drake went south real quick and ended. Drake allegedly sent her a text saying he’d offer up 2% of the “publishing royalties,” but when Ericka beefed up and retained a lawyer, she says he started making threatening phone calls.
“What the f–k is your problem?” he said to her, according to the complaint, then offering her “4-5%” of publishing monies plus a $50,000 payout to go away.
Ericka wants a judge to name her as a co-writer of the song and damages that include a “disgorgement of profits on allegations of breach of fiduciary duties and unjust enrichment.”
Meanwhile, Drake is claiming that she gave consent to use her voice on the recording and did not ask for any compensation at the time. His spokesperson tells Rolling Stone
This claim is entirely without merit and our client has not engaged in any wrongful conduct. Ericka Lee consented to the use of her voice in the song ‘Marvin’s Room’ prior to its release. Lee asked only for the credit she received as ‘Syren Lyric Muse,’ and she did not ask for any compensation. It was only after she retained a lawyer that there was a demand for payment. Drake tried for months to resolve the matter amicably, and he now looks forward to being vindicated in court.”
Drake’s reps are also saying that he was never romantically involved with Ericka.
The most interesting tidbit of this story is that Drake’s story of how the song came together, differs from what’s being reported in the lawsuit. Last year, he told the LA Times:
“[Longtime producer Noah ’40’ Shebib] started making this beat, and I started singing these melodies, and I got a phone call from this girl. I was in the booth singing [hums opening bars of the chorus]. I remember that was the first part I had.”
“Middle of recording I got a call from this girl, and she had been drinking,” he continued. “Because I was recording, I just put the phone on the speaker and sat it on the music stand. ‘40’ thought so quick to record it. I went back to recording more melodies. As I was recording, he was taking pieces of the conversation out … You know where the story is going. At the end of the night we had a song called ‘Marvin’s Room.’”
It seems as though he may have recorded her, asked for her permission to use her voice after the song was completed, she gave consent for her voice to be used as long as she was listed under an ‘alias’ and after the song was released and started to gain momentum (over 39 million views on youtube), the royalty issues came in to play.