Madlib facing a lawsuit for use of “Lord Quas” sketch
(Credit: Spotify)


Madlib facing a lawsuit for use of "Lord Quas" sketch

California producer and rapper Madlib is facing a lawsuit for the use of his emcee nickname. As a beatmaker, listeners know the West Coast native as Madlib. However, when he takes to the microphone, he often goes by the name “Lord Quas” or “Quasimoto.” 

However, the producer (real name Otis Jackson Jr.) now faces a legal case that, if lost, may see him forced to give up the name as well as the yellow cartoon that has served as his de facto logo. 

Keith Griego has filed the case against Jackson Jr. The character was first drawn by DJ Design (credited as Keith Beats) in 1999 for Madlib’s single ‘Microphone Mathematics’. However, Jackson Jr continued to use the cartoon for his brand, and it has appeared on several of his projects, including YessirWhatever and Bandana.

Madlib has made a significant amount of money from these projects and has failed to pay Griego since the original sketch was drawn in 1999. In a statement, Griego’s attorney, Ethan Jacobs, explained, “Mr Griego was gratified to see that Madlib appreciated his Lord Quas character so much. At the same time, he was hurt that [Madlib] continued to use it without compensation, attribution, or permission.” 

Giego has attempted to settle the issue out of court many times. However, his attempts to work out a deal with the producer’s legal team have never seen the issue successfully resolved. 

According to Jacobs’ statement, Griego is looking for years worth of compensation, reading, “Mr. Griego brings this action to seek compensation. For Defendants’ intentional copyright infringement and to obtain an injunction against their further infringement of his copyright.” 

The artist is also looking for the character, which serves as the official logo for Madlib Invazion, LLC, to be invalidated as he was not consulted before the company’s registration. 

In a 2015 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Jackson Jr. unveiled that the image of “Lord Quas” came to him during a Psilocybin trip, disclosing, “The shrooms were the stuff that made me do Quasimoto in the first place. Hopefully, I get back on that level.”