“I got some women that’s living off me,” Drake sings mournfully in his hit “Marvins Room,” and apparently, the girl whose voice appears in that song now wants to be one of them.
Claiming to be the Canadian rapper’s ex as well as a featured voice on the song, Ericka Lee filed a lawsuit against Drake demanding co-writing royalties on the Take Care hit, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Lee says Drake agreed to give her a percentage of the profits when the two were dating and collaborating, but she claims their messy break-up derailed any timely payment for her work.
Although the album credits the woman’s voice simply as “Syren Lyric Music,” Lee says she can provide text messages proving her contribution. In one message, Drake allegedly acknowledged, "U basically made that song,” and another says, “It's sh-t without you." Lee also claims to have a text message that offered her two percent of “publishing royalties,” but apparently after all the bad blood and delays, she wants more now.
It seems that Drake’s label isn’t denying her contribution, but rather downplaying it: Cash Money Records is portraying her not as an author but as a "for hire" contributor, according to the initial report.
In spite of this lawsuit, Drake can at least enjoy the fact that he just beat Diddy’s record of the most No. 1 singles on the Billboard Rap Charts. So at least he’s got that going for him.
One bit of historical irony: “Marvins Room” refers to the studio formerly owned by Marvin Gaye, where this song was recorded. Gaye himself was no stranger to situations like this—part of the royalties earned from his 1978 album Here, My Dear were used to pay off what he owed ex-wife Anna Gordy in alimony. So maybe Drake jinxed himself from the beginning on this one.
UPDATE: Pitchfork has the response from Drake's camp, stating, in part, that "this claim is entirely without merit and our client has not engaged in any wrongful conduct."