NewsBus Driver Claims He Was Unpaid For Tupac's 'Dear Mama'

Bus Driver Claims He Was Unpaid For Tupac’s ‘Dear Mama’

A bus driver has filed a copyright lawsuit claiming he wasn’t credited or paid for the work he contributed to Tupac Shakur’s “Dear Mama.”

A New York bus driver has filed a copyright lawsuit claiming he wasn’t credited or paid for the work he contributed to Tupac Shakur’s “Dear Mama.”

Former DJ and producer Terrence Thomas filed a lawsuit last month for his uncredited work on Tupac’s 1995 classic hit “Dear Mama,” Rolling Stone reports. The suit cites old Tupac interviews and handwritten credits where the late rapper named Thomas as the creator of the song’s original beat.

Thomas is credited as a co-producer on the song, but according to the suit, he was “never properly and fully credited for his publishing copyright.” But instead of being credited, the lawsuit says a “self-serving group,” led by Tony Pizarro (one considered to be the main producer on “Dear Mama”), and executives at Universal Music Group and Interscope Records, “conspired and acted together to appropriate as much of the credit to ‘Dear Mama’ as they could to the exclusion of Master Tee while 2Pac was incarcerated and after his death.”

The 26-year NYC bus driver claims to have met Tupac back in 1993 when he was working as DJ Master Tee for rapper MC Lyte. Thomas and Tupac went on to record “Dear Mama” in October 1993 for Tupac’s then-titled “Stay True” but was later released as “Me Against the World.”

In 1996, Tupac spoke with MTV and credited Thomas when explaining the creation of “Dear Mama.”

“Master Tee gave me the beat, you know, Lyte’s DJ,” he said. “He gave me the beat and I wrote it in the bathroom on the toilet, like on one of them early morning sit down for sessions. I just wrote it down and it came out like, like tears, you know, right?”

Included in the suit, is a handwritten note where Tupac listed the original credits for “Stay True” and next to “Dear Mama,” Tupac allegedly wrote “produced by Master Tee, written by T. Shakur.”

While the original version Tupac recorded with Thomas wasn’t the one released and praised today, Thomas claims Pizarro used the original version of “Dear Mama” to create the version that was widely released.

As for why Thomas waited so long to file the suit, he claims he wasn’t aware that he wasn’t properly credited on “Dear Mama” because he was “duped by a skillful campaign of deception by Pizarro.” It wasn’t until recently that Thomas started to realize he should’ve been receiving more credit and royalties.

The suit highlights the recently released Hulu docuseries “Dear Mama” that Thomas “was not contacted nor asked to clear or license his rights,” the suit claims. The docuseries prompted him to “investigate his copyrights and monetary entitlements” for the song he co-created.

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Source: Black Enterprise

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