Just under a year ago, Xzibit hit the charts with the single "X"
from his album Restless. The record credited Dr. Dre as primary author of the
ditty, but a Philadelphia songwriter named Michael Lowe insists that's just
not the case, and he's suing Dre, Xzibit, studio producer and Roots
songwriter Scott Storch, Loud records and other parties for stealing his
In a copyright infringement suit filed in April and rapidly heading for
the courtroom, Lowe claims that on August 6, 2000, he was invited by Storch
to come to Pep-Soul Recording Studios in Philadelphia and bring some of his
"hottest stuff." If it was good enough, the material would then be showcased
for various hip-hop producers in New York and Los Angeles.
One of the songs Lowe played for Storch was "West Coast (Dre Beat)," a piece he
had assembled to complement Dre's style of hip-hop. Lowe alleges that after
hearing the song, Storch asked him to return home and retrieve the original
disk that contained the song. According to the complaint, a sound engineer hired by
Pep-Soul to assist Storch during recording sessions witnessed the producer
recording drumbeats and music that sounded like "West Coast (Dre Beat)" into
Eight months later, Lowe heard his track on Xzibit's album, Lowe's
attorney John T. Robertson said. In late March, Robertson hired a music expert
to compare Lowe's original song with "X," and found that there were
sufficient similarities to justify legal action.
Robertson then sent a settlement proposal to each of the defendants in the
case, but they all refused to settle, insisting that Xzibit and Dre wrote
"X" on their own. The defendants were served legal papers in April and to
date all but music publisher Melvin F. Bradford have responded not guilty to
the copyright infringement charges. Storch asked that the case be dismissed
due to lack of evidence, but last week his motion was denied by judge Robert
L. Kelly of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of
Lowe is seeking damages exceeding $1 million. The other defendants named in
Lowe Vs. Loud Records are Columbia Records, Hennessy for Everyone Music,
Ain't Nuthin' But Funkin' Music, Hard Workin' Black Folks Music and Voco
Spokespersons for Dre, Xzibit, Loud and Columbia did not immediately return calls.