Juice WRLD, one of the singers who’ve made “emo rap” genre popular in recent years, has been sued by members of the now-disbanded rock group Yellowcard for copyright infringement over his breakthrough single “Lucid Dreams.”
According to a complaint filed Monday (October 21st) in U.S. District Court in California, all Yellowcard members allege that the singer and his collaborators copied “melodic elements” from their 2006 song “Holly Wood Died” for his blockbuster 2018 single without permission. They’re asking for damages in excess of $15 million and a “running royalty and/or ownership share” on all future exploitations related to the song or, alternatively, statutory damages “for each act of copyright infringement” and for defendants to be “permanently enjoined” from exploiting “Lucid Dreams” in the future.
In establishing substantial similarity, the complaint includes a chart analyzing the two compositions and notes a number of common elements including hooks, vocal melodies and a distinctive “melodic idiosyncrasy” known as a melisma, which the plaintiffs claim appears in a “parallel position” in both songs. “The high degree of objective similarity between the Original Work and the Infringing Work extends well beyond the possibility of coincidence and could only reasonably be the result of an act of copying,” it concludes.
In addition to many other similarities, both projects share a producer – Neal Avron – who could have heavily influenced the end result of “Lucid Dreams.” That, and Juice WRLD’s stated admiration of the band, as well as the song, heavily counts against the fresh-faced artist in these proceedings. Stay tuned for more on the situation and listen to the two songs below.