Born Charles Davis, New York-based poet, Abiodun Oyewole adopted the indigenous Yoruba name after visiting a temple in Queens New York when he was 15. He was dubbed with the name by the priest who presided over the temple and has stuck with it ever since.
A poet by occupation, Oyewole was inspired by the legacy of Malcolm X as a counter-reaction to the integrationist agenda of Martin Luther King. In recent developments, the spoken word artist recently slapped a hefty copyright infringement on Jay-Z, Rita Ora, Eminem, Busta Rhymes P.Diddy and the Notorious B.I.G estate.
According to the lawsuit filed at a New York Federal court, Oyewole who belongs to a spoken word group known as The Last Poets, coined the expression “party and bullshit” in the 1970s off their single When The Revolution Comes. A quote sharing the same phrase and title with Biggie Smalls’ 1993 hit similarly titled Party and Bullshit.
The same phrase also served as a titular hook for Rita Ora’s 2012 debut single. How We Do (Party). The lawsuit indicates the phrase was sampled without “consent or authorisation”.
Besides Rita Ora being signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, the lawsuit also extends to the music mogul and P.Diddy for producing Ora’s song. For Eminem and Busta Rhymes, Oyewole is coming after them for sampling Rita Ora’s song on their single Calm Down in 2014.
Abiodun claims the reason he didn’t come forward with the accusations earlier was because he was held back by Biggie’s death in 1997, according to him, he had “no reason to hassle [Biggie Smalls’] widow or mother following the loss of their loved one”.
The suit further claims Rita Ora and Biggie Smalls have used the sample for purposes other than he intended. The phrase according to Oyewole was coined for the “sole purpose of challenging and encouraging people to NOT party, but to move towards success”. The lawsuit states that the plaintiff “sustained and continues to sustain damages [and] suffered and continues to suffer irreparable injury”, and is currently demanding $24 million in damages and royalties.