The sleazy, funk-fused freak fest “Ain’t No Fun” from Snoop Dogg’s 1993 debut album Doggystyle is a classic cut from a classic West Coast album. And while Nate Dogg’s contagious crooning has had us all attempting to hit that high note in the song, two unknown rappers have come forth more than 20 years later to accuse Snoop, Nate, Dr. Dre, Warren G, Suge Knight and Kurupt of ripping off their song.
According to a report by Mashable.com, Craig Ward and Antonio White filed a lawsuit in the California Central District Court on Thursday (Aug. 4) claiming copyright infringement and fraud. The complaint asked for a jury trial and unspecified damages. Ward and White believe they are the original writers of the hook, which goes: “It ain’t no fun, if the homies can’t have none.” The hook is part of their own song “Ain’t No Fun” intended for their album Volume 1 – Out to Get a Grip.
Although their song never officially came out, Ward and White allege that “Ain’t No Fun” features the same hook repeated many times. “The hook/chorus that is central to both works is an example of fragmented literal similarity because Defendants copied that portion of Plaintiffs’ work exactly, while not copying all portions of the work,” the lawsuit reads.
TMZ claims Ward and White played “Ain’t No Fun” for former Death Row Records CEO Suge Knight in 1992 and that Dre, Snoop, and Kurupt were present. According to reports, Ward and White turned in all their masters for Volume 1 – Out to Get a Grip to Knight in hopes they would get signed to Death Row. The lawsuit says Knight agreed to promote Ward’s career and give him a label deal, but it never happened.
“For a decade or more Mr. Knight invited Craig Ward to parties, award shows, and events at Death Row Records, always holding out the hope that Craig Ward would get the help he needed for his career to take off,” the lawsuit reads.
“Knight never intended to sign or promote either Craig Ward or Antonio White, or their respective companies, or to give either of them credit for the song at issue.”
In 2013, Knight spoke about “Ain’t No Fun” in an interview with Rolling Stone suggesting that the song was made by a homie from The Swans named Pooh. “All them dudes already had a record done. And they came and played it for us in the studio. They played us the demo. Everybody looked at it like it was alright. And then after they left, shit, everybody was chopping that same beat,” he said.
The lawsuit also states the verses of Snoop’s song were similar to Ward and White’s as well. “The verses of both songs are concerned with homies relaxing one night, getting high and having a dialogue addressed to a female who previously had sex with the speaker, followed by suggesting an elaborate scenario, that the female should be sexually shared among the homies, described in a partly humorous, partly derisive tone.”
While Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre are credited as songwriters, the L.A. rappers are also suing Knight, Warren G, Kurupt, and the estate of the late Nate Dogg.