The late rapper MF DOOM’s widow Jasmine Dumile Thompson has sued the emcee’s former A&R Egon Alapatt, who last year was accused of stealing the rapper’s rhyme books and denounced by Brooklyn lyricist Talib Kweli for taking advantage of black artists.
The A&R has now been sued for copyright infringement, fraud, intentional misrepresentation and unjust enrichment. Thompson highlights that the notebooks contain rap lyrics, notes, drawings, and rhymes from previously released and unreleased songs that are the intellectual property of MF DOOM’s estate.
The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for the Central District of California, also references 50 unknown individuals and/or entities working with Alapatt withholding the notebooks.
The lawsuit seeks the return of the notebooks, the destruction of any copies, and the prevention of further reproduction or publication of the intellectual property contained in the notebooks. The lawsuit alleges that since the papers have been in Alapatt’s possession, he has acquired “a substantial monetary benefit” and that they deserve compensation.
Thompson details how, prior to his passing, MF DOOM asked Alapatt to return the notebooks but he refused. She also state how there had been several attempts to retrieve and regain possession of the books.
In a statement released to the public, Alapatt’s attorney stated, “Mr. Alapatt looks forward to his day in court to dismiss these frivolous and untrue allegations. Mr. Alapatt rescued these books from DOOM’s unpaid landlord, who had taken possession of all of his belongings.”
He continued, “Mr. Alapatt intended to donate the books to either the Smithsonian or the Cornell University Hip Hop Archive, where they could be considered and studied by scholars in the same way that manuscripts by great poets or sheet music by great composers are. Mr. Alapatt will do everything he can to ensure that these historically significant books are archived and protected.”