LOS ANGELES (EXCLUSIVE) – Lil Wayne uses a “vernacular” including words that are unique to Weezy and his fellow label mates, claims a news lawsuit. The famous words “young money cash money billionaires” are part of a mark that Cash Money Records claims ownership too. But, the expression is now so influential in music that the phrase has become part of the vernacular of Weezy’s label, claims a new lawsuit.
On Saturday, LALATE detailed a new lawsuit brought by Cash Money against the owners of website YMCMB.com (not owned by Cash Money). The suit seeks to have the website owner turn over the website domain to Cash Money Records.
But in its complaint, Cash Money Records asserts that the popular Weezy words “young money cash money billionaires” are so influential that they have become part of a label’s vernacular (language) and have changed the music community at large.
Plaintiffs claim that Bryan and Ronald Williams coined the expression “young money cash money billionaires” in 2007. The complaint doesn’t detail any specific event in which the expression was coined but simply claims that the phrase was created to “tout the labels’ growing force” at the time.
Since then, the mark has been used in countless songs, the complaint details. The expression has been used by Rick Ross (9 Piece), Birdman (Get Money), Jay Sean (YMCMB Heroes), DJ Khaled (Welcome to My Hood), Drake (I’m On One), and of course Lil Wayne (Hit the Lights).
The proliferation of the use of the mark has been so significant, plaintiff claims, that it has now become part of even a vernacular. Merriam-Webster defines vernacular as a “language … of, relating to, or characteristic of a period, place, or group.”
The suit claims the expression became so popular that the “phrase and acronym instantly became part of the CMR vernacular”. Moreover, the phrase “was immediately embraced by fans … as well as the hip hop and rap community at large”.
The suit also claims that “shout outs” of the YMCMB expression have helped solidify the mark’s vernacular. The “Mark has received … shout outs in artists’ songs, photographs in national magazines and internationally accessible websites featuring celebrities, celebrities tweeting about the brand.”
The suit is seeking the website domain to be turned over to Cash Money and to turn over revenues derived from sales of products on the website. Neither party has yet to comment about the matter.