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GZA MIA!? - 2002-12-16 11:15:55

© The Wu-Tang Corp.- 2002-12-16

Seems like GZA is MIA, but safe though.

Representatives at MCA haven't been able to locate one of their marquee players - the GZA. Publicity has listed the rapper as "MIA" (missing in action), setting off speculation about the rappers whereabouts and even his health.

RZA confirmed with AllHipHop.com that GZA is alive and healthy. While RZA didn't offer an explanation for GZA's sudden disappearance, sources at MCA said the rapper, who said in reports that he has no longer uses profanity in his rhymes, may have just been tired from a lengthy radio tour promoting his latest album, Legend of the Liquid Sword.

Let's move on... shall we? Ghostface Killah is being accused of ripping off a Bronx man's music in Federal Court. Michael Artis filed a lawsuit against Ghostface in Federal District Court, Southern District of New York in September 2001, claiming that the song "Mighty Healthy," a cut on the Supreme Clientele album, was a complete rip off of his work.

The lawsuit alleges Dennis Cole's a/k/a Ghostface Killah stole music and passed it off as his own in a False Designation of Origin Claim.

"Epic Records was notified of the Artis claim in early summer of 2001, but did nothing to redress the matter; thereafter, Artis filed a lawsuit in late September 2001," Artis' attorney Alice T. Crowe, Esq., told AllHipHop.com in a written statement regarding the case.

"Ironically, at the early stages of the lawsuit Dennis Cole's lawyers would not accept court papers on his behalf; however, when Epic filed it's lawsuit against Coles in late October of this year, Coles' lawyer, who moved to withdraw as counsel for Coles, agreed to stay on the case to accept Epic's legal papers against Coles."

According to Crowe, Ghostface was "served with the Artis lawsuit in Florida when Coles paused momentarily to entertain the flirtations of a young strawberry blonde while he was performing on stage," serving him his court papers in front of hundreds of his fans. Ghostface threw the papers on stage and continued his performance. When he failed to appear or file a response to the lawsuit, Crowe filed a default motion against him.

A lawyer appeared in court to respond to the lawsuit for Ghostface later filed a motion to withdraw as legal counsel, citing Ghostface's management would not return his phone calls, saying he was difficult and uncooperative in the case.

According to Crowe, Ghostface and Epic came to an agreement to release him from his recording contract and one of the provisions was that Ghost cooperated in defending the lawsuit.

When Ghostface's lawyer filed a motion to withdraw as counsel, Sony/Epic then filed a lawsuit against Ghostface citing he violated his written agreement to assist them with defending the infringement lawsuit launched in September. The suit names Sony Entertainment/Epic Records, The RZA, and Allah Mathematics as parties.

Crowe's said that the Epic lawsuit mirrors the Artis lawsuit, citing Coles for infringing upon Artis's music and seeking damages against Ghostface for his actions.

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