A St. Louis production duo who claim they created the tracks that became the "Saturday Night Live" digital shorts "Like a Boss" and "Shy Ronnie" have filed a lawsuit against the show and castmember Andy Samberg claiming they haven't been properly paid for their work.
StarStrukk Production members Aleric "Rick tha Rular" Banks and Monique "Foxx StarStrukk" Hines filed a lawsuit in New York federal court last week against NBC Universal, Samberg, the Lonely Island and Universal Republic Records for willful copyright infringement and unjust enrichment.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the suit alleges that Samberg's band, the Lonely Island, recorded the tracks submitted by the duo "verbatim," and then added lyrics on top. Samberg performed "Like a Boss" with Seth Rogen on "SNL" on April 4, 2009, and in December of that year he got together with Rihanna for the Emmy-nominated "Shy Ronnie."
The pair told a local paper that they hooked up with Samberg through a mutual connection in California in 2008, when they submitted tracks to Lonely Island for the band's debut album. "Like a Boss" was featured on the trio's 2009 disc Incredibad, while "Shy Ronnie 2: Ronnie & Clyde" was featured on this year's Turtleneck & Chain.
In August 2010, StarStrukk told a local paper that they were excited about being nominated for an Emmy for the "Shy Ronnie" skit, which they said featured a beat they tried, unsuccessfully, to sell to local acts like City Spud and Yung Ro as well as Young Jeezy. But after not getting the credit they felt they deserved or being paid appropriately, they filed suit.
Banks claims he signed a form sent by the Universal Music Group in which he stated that he was a 50 percent owner of the copyright on "Like a Boss" as the writer and producer of the tune. According to the suit, he received a response letter that only gave him 25 percent interest in the tune. But, so far, Banks says he hasn't gotten any producer royalties or profits from the songs. A spokesperson for NBCU could not be reached for comment at press time.