Singer Tanya 'Gangsta girl' Stephens. - Ian Allen
Tanya Stephens has filed a lawsuit against American rapper Lil' Kim, alleging plagiarism.
In an article published by the New York Post yesterday, August 28, and carried on the Fox News.com entitled, 'Jamaican Singer Accuses Lil' Kim of Plagiarism', Stephens alleges that Lil' Kim, real name Kimberly Jones, ripped off lyrics from her song Mi and Mi God recorded in Jamaica and released in 1997, for her song Durty, which appears on Kim's 2005 The Naked Truth album.
The article further states "Kim didn't just steal her song, Tanya Stephens claims in a suit filed in Manhattan federal court last week. She did so after flying Stephens to New York, asking her to sing on one of her albums and belting out by heart the very song she pilfered to show what a big fan she was of Stephens, according to the suit."
According to the article, "Stephens and her represen-tatives from the Royalty Network were shocked when they first listened to Lil' Kim's late 2005 album, The Naked Truth. In the suit, they claim that the lyrics of the song matched Stephens' version "word for word" and that Kim "even sings the tune with a West Indian accent."
"The lyrics are so duplicative that Stephens is claiming she should own the song and receive all past and future royalties," the article states.
Kim reached out to Stephens in 1999 and flew her up to have her sing on one of her albums.
She gushed over Stephens when they met in the New York recording studio, telling her that she was a "big fan" and that she owned several of the reggae artiste's albums, the suit says. Kim even sang her favourite Stephens song, which she knew by heart. It was Mi and Mi God, according to the lawsuit.
Stephens then sang with Kim, but the vocals never made the album.
Lil' Kim's lawyer and agent did not respond to messages requesting comment, the paper said.
The Naked Truth shot to Nuumber three on the hip-hop charts and rose to Number 6 on the Billboard chart. It was nominated for Album of the Year for the BET Awards.