Over the past year and some change Bronx bred rapper French Montana has catapulted himself into the national spotlight with a string of hit songs and guest appearances on several Billboard charting hits.
Of those hit songs, “Pop That,” which samples Miami veteran rapper Uncle Luke’s voice on the hook, has become the center of a copyright infringement case on the verge of being initiated by Uncle Luke.
While the world has known about discrepancy for a while, recently French and Luke took shots at each other via their respective interviews with New York’s Hot 97 radio, telling their side of the story and how the song and its controversy came to be.
“Actually Luke went on air and was like, ‘French owe me some money.’ Well, that’s after I brought him out at BET Awards – me, him and Puff. Then I heard he went on the internet and was talking about, ‘French owe me some money.’ I can’t owe you some money if you don’t own your thing,” French Montana told Hot 97. ”You gotta own your product, it’s [owned by] somebody named Lil J or something like that.”
Uncle Luke has a different version of the story, and while Luke was invited to the video shoot by French in an act of respect and to pay homage, Luke was reportedly unaware of the song’s existence and the usage of his voice before it’s release and just moments prior to the video shoot.
“Ok, let me tell you how it all went off. In the beginning Puffy told me to come to do a video shoot in Miami on Memorial Day last year. I asked, ‘What video shoot, to what song?’ – because I work with a lot of kids. They never told me the name of the song nor did they ever send me a copy of the song. So they were basically trying to set me up to be a part of a video shoot to a song that had me appearing on it,” Luke explained.
“Second of all these guys had press conferences – this stuff is all online – and this guy is sitting here saying, ‘Hey I just did a song with Uncle Luke and all these other guys on the song.’ So we’re seeing this information online and seeing all the press conferences, and I’m thinking like, ‘What song did I do with this guy? I really don’t even know the guy,’” Uncle Luke explained to New York’s Hot 97. ”So they did the video and that’s why I didn’t appear in the video, because I wasn’t going to appear in anything I didn’t hear or know anything about.
“At the end of the day, we went back, checked our contracts and our agreements about the songs and what the person who owns it can do or cannot do. They cannot alter my music, so they went ahead and did, I had a conversation with Puffy and his people. I don’t have a problem with it, but it’s really the principle. Call me up and let me know whats the deal, don’t just try to pull a fast one like this and then have me appear in the video without even a courtesy call,” Uncle Luke explained.
While Luke hasn’t yet pursued the case due to his relationship with Diddy, after hearing the song on radio repeatedly, after getting asked about the song by people in his community, and after French Montana’s interview with Hot 97 Luke says, “that don’t work good with me.”
“Go make a hit record, stop trying to use a situation that’s a dead situation and try to make it out of something. Now if he want me to sue him, I got not problem, if he keep it up, then I’m gonna sue him. We can settle it in court,” said Uncle Luke.
Diddy has yet to comment on the situation yet. More news as details emerge.