Skatta sued over superstar rhythm
Producer Andre Tyrell, more popularly known as Rookie, has
reportedly filed a lawsuit against fellow producer Cordel ‘Skatta’
Burrell over the ownership and use of the ‘Superstar’ rhythm.
The Superstar rhythm is famous for the popular dancehall song Backshot by Lady Saw and Spragga Benz.
THE STAR obtained a copy of a letter which was reportedly
sent to Skatta Burrell by attorney at-law Analisa Chapman, who is
The document states that Skatta is being sued for “due
remuneration and credit” as it relates to a copyright infringement of
‘Superstar’ rhythm which was used in the hit song Street Hustle by Specialist.
The document also stated that Rookie is asking for a ‘lump sum’ payment and future royalties to boot.
The document further says Skatta has breached Rookie’s moral
rights and has also failed to ‘duly acknowledge or credit my client
[Rookie] in respect of his authorship of the Superstar rhythm featured
in the Street Hustle song’.
When contacted, Skatta said he decided to produce the Street Hustle
song for Downsound recording artiste Specialist because he wanted to
see the artiste accomplish more. He went on to say that he went into the
studio with an open mind and with the intention to produce an authentic
beat around the song.
“If there are elements in the rhythm that sound like Rookie’s
beats, I didn’t know it at the time because I was playing it by ear.
Rookie should be glad that a producer of my calibre did something that
sounds like his compilation,” Skatta told THE STAR.
Skatta went on to say that the co-producer of the song, Shady,
was contacted a few months ago and was informed that they had stolen
Rookie’s beat and that he should be compensated.
“We were not making any money from it then, it was just playing
on the radio. I decided to give him a percentage for the hell of it. It
was later released on iTunes and I don’t know if he checked to see if we
gave him credit or what, next thing I see is a long letter from a
lawyer,” Skatta said.
Skatta said he would have appreciated it if Rookie had decided to
come to the studio and speak to him in person about the matter.
“Rookie’s last hit was 1998. He should feel glorified that a hit
in 2012 has been influenced by his rhythm. Instead of suing me and
Downsound Records, he should be thanking us. It is ridiculous to have
taken it so far. I feel like I am going to go to court, just for the
hell of it,” Skatta said.
When contacted, Rookie’s lawyer said she was not able to comment on the matter.