The gloves are off now. A Dutch music producer has just filed a lawsuit against Diplo and rapper Azealia Banks, claiming Diplo flat-out stole his beat to use on Banks’ 2012 song “Fuck Up the Fun” and even had the audacity to pass it off as his own work.
MasterD — a DJ well-known in the underground Dutch “bubbling” scene – filed the suit in Missouri, alleging Diplo knew the beat wasn’t his creation, but used it anyway without permission.
Diplo and Banks released “Fuck Up the Fun” in 2012, with Diplo taking sole producer credit, and the public backlash was swift in coming. People across the Internet immediately recognized the similarities between “Fuck Up the Fun” and MasterD’s “Mad Drumz,” and slammed Diplo as a beat stealer.
In response to the 2012 accusations, Diplo emailed Pitchfork, claiming “Fuck Up the Fun” was actually a collaboration between him and MasterD. Diplo wrote, “These guys [MasterD and friends] are my homies. If anyone can really help break these underground movements it’s a young artist like Azealia Banks.”
Diplo called his sole producer credit a mistake and quickly bestowed a co-producer title on MasterD, but according to MasterD’s lawsuit, he and Diplo are the opposite of “homies.”
MasterD claims he produced and copyrighted “Mad Drumz” in 2008, and four years later, Diplo released the same exact beat on Banks’ track under his own name. MasterD insists he was never contacted for permission to use his beat on “Fuck Up the Fun” prior to its release, and he most definitely didn’t “collaborate” on it.
Once “Fuck Up the Fun” came out, and Diplo started getting heat from MasterD fans, MasterD claims Diplo reached out to him in a desperate last-minute attempt to get permission to use the beat, but no deal was struck. MasterD claims Diplo and Banks then brazenly continued to sell and perform “Fuck Up the Fun,” despite having zero permission to do so.
MasterD claims “Fuck Up the Fun” earned Diplo and Banks hundreds of thousands of digital downloads and even more video views, resulting in astronomical losses for MasterD.
MasterD claims he even sent Diplo and Banks a cease-and-desist letter, demanding they stop stealing his track, but it went unanswered.
In addition to Diplo (real name Thomas Pentz) and Banks, MasterD is suing Universal Music Group as well as all the retailers that allegedly distributed Banks’ “Fantasea” mix tape, including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Overstock.com, and Best Buy. MasterD wants unspecified damages, as well as an injunction blocking Diplo and Banks from using his beat ever again.
Interestingly, the same day Diplo emailed Pitchfork with his “collaboration” excuse, he tweeted @DJMasterD1 in an obvious attempt to extend an olive branch. So much for that.
— blondre 3000 (@diplo) March 26, 2012
As for Diplo and Azealia Banks, they also have a spotted history. Banks publicly turned on Diplo last year, accusing him of unfairly blocking the release of her “Harlem Shake” remix because Diplo wanted Juicy J to rap on it instead.
Banks called him a “snake,” and said, “”You owe M.I.A. everything you have.” (M.I.A. arguably put Diplo on the map with her song “Paper Planes,” which Diplo produced.)
Banks’ tweets have since been deleted, so maybe she and Diplo are cool again. Which is a lot more than we can say for Diplo and MasterD.
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