A man claims that his group's music was used without his consent in the 1996 film.
Some may have been perplexed to see Spike Lee on Oscar night donning a purple suit in honor of the late, iconic musician Prince, but those who follow the cinematographer's career know that the two were longtime friends. In fact, back in 1996, Lee and Prince collaborated for the director's film Girl 6, starring Theresa Randle. Prince wrote and performed the title track for the movie's soundtrack, but a man named James Brandon is claiming that the original "Girl 6" beat belongs to him.
In lawsuit paperwork obtained by TMZ, Brandon says that at the time, he was in a group called GOMAB. Brandon claims that in 1993 GOMAB had a meeting with Lee's uncle, Clarence Lee, who said that he would help the group get their music to the director—specifically, they gave him a track called "Phone Sex." Coincidentally, Girl 6 is a romantic thriller about a young woman who turns to working as a phone sex operator to pay the bills.
Brandon states in the lawsuit that the similarities between "Girl 6" and "Phone Sex" are obvious, especially on the hook. He is taking both Lee and Prince's estate to court, demanding that all profits that were made from the song should be given to him. Lee has yet to publicly respond to the allegations.
In 2014, Lee interviewed his longtime friend for Interview magazine, and the musician shared his thoughts on how his music was used in the film. "I was pleasantly surprised and I like the film for the style in which you did it," Prince said. "I’d never seen that done before. The scene at Coney Island, where you used 'How Come U Don’t Call Me Any More,' is my favorite scene. In fact, it forced me to put that song back into our set. I said I would never play it again because I used to think I couldn’t do it better than I did with my band, the Revolution. But your film gave me newfound respect for the music."