Tupac Shakur Photographer Sues Kendall and Kylie Jenner for Using His Photos of the Rapper on Their T-Shirts
The first rule of sampling in hip-hop is to give credit to the originator, which is something Kendall and Kylie Jenner clearly didn't do recently when they were accused of jacking images of Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. for their vintage-inspired T-shirts. Now the Kardashian clan's youngest siblings are being sued by ’Pac's photographer for using his images of the late rapper without permission.
Lauded photographer Mike Miller reveals he never gave the Jenner sisters permission to use his images, according to TMZ. In legal documents, Miller states he had no interest in working with either Kylie or Kendall, namely the latter following a publicity nightmare. He's likely referring to her recent Pepsi campaign, for which she was accused of trivializing the Black Lives Matter campaign.
So what does Miller want when it's all said and done? He's suing for all profits the Jenners made off the shirts.
Miller's images of Tupac, shot in the late 1990s before his death, depict the rap icon in various poses showing off his famous Thug Life tattoo and giving the middle finger. Several of these photos, which can be viewed on the photographer's website, were used on the shirts the sisters sold recently on the retail site for their Kendall + Kylie line. The shirts featuring Tupac have since been removed.
Todd Wilson, a representative for the Jenners, tells TMZ both Kendall and Kylie had nothing to do with the design of the shirts. "It's like suing an actor for being in a movie," Wilson said.
Last month, social media sounded off on Kendall and Kylie's use of ’Pac and Biggie on their retail designs. The backlash got back to B.I.G.'s mother, Voletta Wallace, who felt the move was exploitative and disrespectful. "I am not sure who told @kyliejenner and @kendalljenner that they had the right to do this. The disrespect of these girls to not even reach out to me or anyone connected to the estate baffles me. I have no idea why they feel they can exploit the deaths of 2pac and my Son Christopher to sell a t-shirt. This is disrespectful , disgusting, and exploitation at its worst!!" Wallace wrote in a post on Instagram.
As a result, Kendall and Kylie issued an apology and statement on their respective Twitter accounts regarding the use of the images. "These designs were not well thought out and we deeply apologize to anyone that has been upset and/or offended, especially to the families of the artists. We are huge fans of their music and it was not our intention to disrespect these cultural icons in anyway [sic]. The tee shirts have been pulled from retail and all images have been removed. We will use this opportunity to learn from these mistakes and again, we are very sorry," they wrote.
Looks like this case will be settled in court.
Hip-Hop Fans Aren't Feeling Kendall and Kylie Jenner’s New T-Shirts Featuring The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur