Dre, Xzibit Sued By Songwriter Claiming They Bit His Beat For 'X'

Philadelphia songwriter asserts his "West Coast (Dre Beat)" was appropriated for Xzibit single.

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

tune.

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

his keyboard.

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

Pennsylvania.

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

Music.

Spokespersons for Dre, Xzibit, Loud and Columbia did not immediately return calls.