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Pharcyde Sues Pharcyde Over Pharcyde Name

The Pharcyde
The Pharcyde

Well this one gets a little confusing pretty quickly. Two members of The Pharcyde—the seminal early-1990s L.A. hip-hop quartet—are suing the other two for using the Pharcyde name without permission, violating an earlier agreement made by the group.

Bootie Brown (Romeye Robinson) and Imani (Imani Wilcox) have taken their two former colleagues Slimkid3 (Trevor Hardson) and Fatlip (Derrick Stewart) to a Los Angeles federal court, alleging that the latter two have been performing under the name The Pharcyde despite having left more than a decade ago. AllHipHop reports that upon leaving the group, Slimkid3 and Fatlip signed over the “names, likenesses and other identifying material, only in connection with the sale or promotion of recordings recorded under the recording contract as amended,” and thus surrendered the name to Bootie and Imani. The agreement was re-signed upon the group’s brief reconciliation in 2008.

Allegedly, Slimkid3 and Fatlip have booked shows in the same cities as Bootie and Imani, with the suit claiming it’s caused confusion as to which group was the actual Pharcyde—a seemingly reasonable conclusion, as both technically, though not legally, make up half the original quartet. The offenses named in the lawsuit include breach of contract, unfair competition, trademark infringement, unjust enrichment, violation of right of publicity, and injunctive and declaratory relief.

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