Jay-Z is all about children getting their ABCs on, just not in a way that infringes on his rights.
The “99 Problems” rapper is suing Australian woman Jessica Chiha and her business, The Little Homie. Jay-Z is claiming copyright over Chiha’s children’s picture book and accuses the book of knowingly infringing on his trademarks and misleading conduct, per the Guardian.
“We are unbelievably disappointed to find ourselves caught in a legal battle with someone whose music we love and adore,” Chiha said in a statement. “To have someone like Jay-Z file legal proceedings is daunting beyond belief and hugely dispiriting.”
“We maintain we have done nothing wrong and intend to give it everything we’ve got for common sense and common good to prevail, to the extent we can fight the fight.”
The book is called AB to Jay-Z and was funded through an $8,000 Kickstarter campaign. It aims to teach kids the alphabet by referring to well-known rappers, including Jay-Z, Pharrell Williams, and Snoop Dogg.
Since then, the line has expanded to include a colouring book and clothing line. Chiha said The Little Homie was inspired by her own “love of hip hop and the artists I grew up listening to” and aims to find common ground between parents and their children.
Jay-Z first caught wind of The Little Homie after a 2017 controversy. The Little Homie was accused of cultural appropriation and racism after a customer inquired as to whether the company was black-owned.
Jay-Z, real name Shawn Carter, asked Chiha in March 2018 and July 2019 to stop profiting off his likeness. Lawyers from both sides were in talks until September when Jay-Z pursued legal action.
“Unless restrained, the respondents threaten to and intend to and will continue to engage in the conduct referred to above,” the statement of claims reads.