50 Cent sued for copyright infringement: Accused of stealing gangster book's theme for his 2009 album
Shadrach Winstead filed a lawsuit — obtained by EW — on Nov. 5 against Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, accusing the rapper of copyright infringement and unfair competition. Winstead says 50 stole the plot and theme of his 2008 book, The Preachers Son — But the Streets Turned Me Into a Gangster for his 2009 album Before I Self Destruct and its companion movie, directed by and starring 50. The case filings site several instances where portions of Winstead’s book had seemingly been lifted. For example, Winstead compared one line in his book: “My father and my mother were arguing a lot and sometimes she would leave and come stay with her mother and there would be just me, my father and my brother,” to 50’s movie dialogue: “It was just me, my mother and my brother. My father went looking for a job and never came back. Now it’s just me, my mother and my brother.”
There other alleged similarities between the the music and the book as well. Winstead’s book reads, “I used to go in the basement and stashed the coke. I had an uncle who used to go in the basement. He found my stash. He started smoking my s— up.” 50’s “Then Day Went By” features the lines, “My uncle smoked my stash up. I had 200 grams left under the porch. How much you going to smoke, man? How much you going to smoke, man?” Winstead is asking that sales of 50’s album be suspended and that he pay forward all the profits earned from the infringement.