Mid 2000s pop-punk/emo band Yellowcard have filed a lawsuit against emo-rap/SoundCloud rapper Juice WRLD, alleging that the rapper “knowingly copied,” their 2006 song “Holly Wood Died” for his 2018 hit “Lucid Dreams.” As a result the band are seeking damages in excess of $15 million, for the track that debuted at number 2 for the Billboard hot 100 back in May of 2018.
While the track prominently features Sting’s “Shape of My Heart,” as part of its sample, the band alleges that the chorus of “Lucid Dreams,” is identical to the melody of “Holly Wood Died.” They claim that both tracks use a “melisma idiosyncrasy”, melisma being the term for singing multiple notes within one syllable of text. This allegedly appears during the phrase “I know that you want me dead” in “Lucid Dreams” and the line “like razors they cut through the heart” in “Holly Wood Died.”
“As alleged in the complaint, this is not just a generic emo rap song, but is a blatant copy of significant original compositional elements of ‘Holly Wood Died’ in several respects,” Yellowcard’s lawyer, Richard Busch, said in a press statement to Rolling Stone.
Their suit alleges that Juice WRLD knew about the song, and the album it came from Lights and Sounds, due to his “emo-rap” background. The rapper has stated praise for pop-punk acts such as Fall Out Boy and the Devil Wars Prada in the past.”Thus, upon information and belief, at the time Defendant Juice WRLD began studying the Emo genre of music, ‘Holly Wood Died’ would have been recently released,” the suit from Yellowcard alleges.
Photo Credit: Mehreen Rizvi