A settlement in the works

A settlement in the works

HoodCelebrityy speaks on lawsuit, career

BY RICHARD JOHNSON
Observer senior reporter
johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, October 30, 2020

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US-based, Jamaican-born recording artiste HoodCelebrityy is still smarting from the lawsuit brought against her by fellow Jamaican and 90s deejay Nardo Ranks who accused her of infringing on his intellectual property by drawing on his popular track Dem a Bleach, for her song Run Di Road.

In an interview with the Jamaica Observer's Splash, HoodCelebrityy said she drew on the musical influences of Chaka Demus and Pliers' monster hit Murder She Wrote and Dem a Bleach simply because she loved the tracks and there was no intent to rip off the artiste.

“I am so disappointed. The thing is we reached out. Chakademus was so humble and great, he signed off with us and gave the project his blessing. The truth is a remake of any old track give the original life and shows how much a younger artiste respects the work. We had every intention to deal with him [Nardo Ranks] in the same way like we did with Chakademus, but that never happened, not through any fault of ours,” she noted.

Both parties are said to be working to settle the matter.

In June of this year, Nardo Ranks, whose real name is Gary Henderson and who lives in Queens, New York, filed a suit in the Manhattan Federal Court alleging copyright infringement and seeking at least US$500,000 in damages. The suit named HoodCelebrityy (given name: Tina Pinnock) and KSR Group, the record label which released the track, as defendants.

Meanwhile, HoodCelebrityy, who hails from Portmore in St Catherine, but migrated to the United States 17 years ago, continues to put in the work to maintain the momentum she earned with her 2017 breakout hit Walking Trophy. However, the current global health crisis and pandemic have curtailed her efforts to advance her musical career.

“I'm doing good, but it's an adjustment getting used to this whole situation. But yuh know like a real Jamaican we jus adjust wi ting to any situation, regardless,” she shared, easily code-switching from her adopted American accent to her native Jamaican tongue.

“I've done one show since this whole thing. That's the hardest part. I am not able to connect with my fans in person; everything has been on social media… Zoom and Instagram. Mi nuh used to dis.”

Always one promoting the rights and empowerment of women, HoodCelebrityy noted that her latest single So Pretty is also in that vein.

“I'm just trying to uplift women. Everywhere there is so much low self-esteem and this leads to a host of problems including suicide. So Pretty is really just about reaching out to every woman in whatever culture and encourage them to embrace who they are. I am just doing my part, but it really needs to start in the home. I left Jamaica when I was 12 years old and I remember telling my mother that I didn't feel pretty, and I remember she said, 'My girl yuh look good, nuh mek nobody tell you anything else.' A lot of our young people don't have that kind of support system and so they look to things like social media for validation.”

“For a slim girl like me when they look at Instagram and see all these girls with the big butts they need someone to tell them they are good just the way they are. They need to be told that what they see on social media is just an illusion, that the Instagram model took 100 pictures and only posted one; she didn't wake up like that and some of these models have really nasty personalities. It is hard to convince a 15-year-old, but we have to do our part. Let them know nobody is perfect.”

HoodCelebrityy is pleased with where her career is at this time noting that she has bigger goals for herself which included making her music and personal brand known internationally. Meanwhile, she is pleased with the support she is getting from her fellow Jamaicans.

“Jamaicans have started to catch up, so I'm OK now. At first I was like damn…. How comes dem nah support mi and mi a Jamaican? But after Walking Trophy and more people started knowing who I was, then the love came. So right now I am really happy,” she said.


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