French Montana Sued For Copyright, Songwriter Claims He Didn't Clear Sample

The rapper's 2022 song "Blue Chills" is accused of unrightfully sampling another track after never following through with a deal to do so.

BYGabriel Bras Nevares
French Montana Copyright Lawsuit Hip Hop News

French Montana now has to answer for an old track of his, as a singer-songwriter hit him with a copyright lawsuit. Moreover, Skylar Gudasz claimed that her 2020 track "Femme Fatal" prominently contributes to the rapper's 2022 cut "Blue Chills." In fact, Gudasz expressed in her legal action that he and his team could've avoided the whole situation if things went according to plan. Apparently French's team offered her upfront fees and continuous revenue for the sample, which consisted of a 50% share of copyright for publishing. However, Gudasz alleged that the song dropped anyway, despite this deal never coming to a close.

"Despite repeated promises from [French Montana's team]... no signed agreement, fees, royalties, licensing agreements or monies have ever been sent to plaintiff," her lawyers stated in the filing. In addition, it explained the circumstances behind their almost-finalized collaboration. Furthermore, industry executive Deborah Mannis-Gardner, known for her sample clearances, approached Gudasz in May of 2022. Specifically, they negotiated the aforementioned agreement to include over $7,000 in upfront fees and a .08% cut from master royalties.

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French Montana Performing At The Tribeca Film Festival

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 16: French Montana performs during the "For Khadija" Premiere - 2023 Tribeca Festival at Beacon Theatre on June 16, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images for Tribeca Festival)

Also, it had a half share of the composition copyright, along with half of the publishing rights. When Gudasz reached out about the release of "Blue Chills" with no final deal, Mannis-Gardner allegedly wrote "Oh jeez" in her response email. "DMG continued to maintain there would be a final agreement, sent emails finalizing the licensing agreement and requested invoices from plaintiff, which plaintiff timely sent … and even sent plaintiff a congratulatory email," the lawsuit continued. Not only that, but French Montana seemingly congratulated Gudasz via Instagram comments and spoke about her role on the track on Apple Music's Rap Life Radio.

Meanwhile, amid his massive success, Gudasz wants this remedied as soon as possible. "The unauthorized and infringing use by defendants of the song ‘Femme Fatale’ has caused irreparable harm, damage and injury," her lawyers maintained. "Plaintiff has been deprived of the rightful experience of benefitting and enjoying the fruits of her labor." For more news and the latest updates on French Montana, come back to HNHH.

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About The Author
Gabriel Bras Nevares is a music and pop culture news writer for HotNewHipHop. He started in 2022 as a weekend writer and, since joining the team full-time, has developed a strong knowledge in hip-hop news and releases. Whether it’s regular coverage or occasional interviews and album reviews, he continues to search for the most relevant news for his audience and find the best new releases in the genre. What excites him the most is finding pop culture stories of interest, as well as a deeper passion for the art form of hip-hop and its contemporary output. Specifically, Gabriel enjoys the fringes of rap music: the experimental, boundary-pushing, and raw alternatives to the mainstream sound. As a proud native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, he also stays up-to-date with the archipelago’s local scene and its biggest musical exponents in reggaetón, salsa, indie, and beyond. Before working at HotNewHipHop, Gabriel produced multiple short documentaries, artist interviews, venue spotlights, and audio podcasts on a variety of genres and musical figures. Hardcore punk and Go-go music defined much of his coverage during his time at the George Washington University in D.C. His favorite hip-hop artists working today are Tyler, The Creator, Boldy James, JPEGMAFIA, and Earl Sweatshirt.