Lil Nas X is being sued for $25 million by a music publishing company in Culver City, California, called The Music Force. But the suit isn’t behind X’s smash hit “Old Town Road,” it’s for his song “Carry On.”
According to the The Music Force, who filed the suit on Wednesday in Los Angeles, X borrowed parts of Bobby Caldwell’s 1982 cut of the same name without permission.
The rapper uploaded his song in 2018, which now has more than 4 million views on YouTube. Entertainment Weekly reports the original post has since been removed, but there are still over 85 other illegal uploads on the site.
The suit also alleges that X posted the tune to other streaming platforms like SoundCloud and Spotify.
Plus, The Music Force said X and “Carry On’s” producer, Jeffry “Beats” Newlin, were “motivated by greed and malicious intent,” which is why they never got the OK to use Caldwell’s song.
Newlin is being sued as well, along with Sony, the record label X signed to just a few months ago.
Sony is named because, according to the plaintiff, they failed to ensure the sample was cleared when it was released, because it was “far more important” for them to turn the cut into a huge moneymaker.
At the very least, the music publishers want $10 million in compensatory damages, because they said X’s song caused “confusion in the marketplace” and another $15 million in punitive damages, which equals the $25 million.
On Friday, July 26, X responded to the suit by posting a video of the character Squidward Tentacles from the animated series “SpongeBob SquarePants.”
“Me when I lose my lawsuit,” he wrote in the now deleted-Instagram message.
The rapper used that same clip earlier this week when he asked his followers to help “Old Town Road” break the record for having the longest No. 1 chart position on Billboard’s Hot 100.
If it stays at No.1 another week, it’ll break the record for having the longest chart topper of all-time.
Sony hasn’t responded to the lawsuit yet.