M.O.S. is walking away empty-handed.
In October 2018, it was reported that Migos were being sued by M.O.S. for allegedly ripping off his 2007 song, "Walk It Like I Talk It". Both M.O.S.' song and Migos' Drake-assisted hit, "Walk It, Talk It", repeat the phrase in their titles. When Migos member, Quavo, was asked about the lawsuit a few months after the story came out, he claimed he was not even aware of it, but denied it being guilty regardless. "'Walk it, talk it' is a saying from Atlanta," he explained. "It had been a saying since the 2000s. Everybody say 'walk it, talk it.' My grandpa, my uncles and shit say 'walk it, talk it.' Man, that shit's an old saying, man. We been saying 'walk it, talk it.'"
According to AllHipHop, a judge has sided in Migos' favor, invoking a similar argument as Quavo. "Because songwriters must be free to borrow sayings and expressions from popular culture, the Second Circuit and courts in this district have found that short and commonplace phrases are not protectable, even when used as the title or repeated lyrics of a song, as is the case here," Judge Analisa Torres ruled.
Judge Torres also cited other examples of rap songs that make use of this phrase in the same repetitive fashion, such as Paul Wall’s 2005 song "March ‘n’ Step”, Young Jeezy’s 2006 song “3 A.M.” and Wiz Khalifa’s 2007 song “Be Easy."
"The only similarity between the two works at issue, the lyrics “walk it like I talk it,” is not original to the author and is, therefore, not protected by the copyright laws," Judge Torres ruled. Even though M.O.S. would likely not have been successful in copyrighting this phrase, since it has other origins in Atlanta's culture, he hadn't even copyrighted his own song until after Migos' song was released along with Culture II. Judge Torres pointed out that this also compromised M.O.S.' case. "As courts in this district have held, a copyright infringement claim will be dismissed where the allegedly infringed work, in this case, the musical composition, was not registered at the time the original complaint was filed," she said.