THE presumptive writer of 1990s dancehall hit song, Dem A Bleach has blasted a lawsuit by deejay Nardo Ranks against rapper HoodCelebrityy for copyright infringement.
Winston Solomon, who said he wrote the song for Nardo Ranks nearly 30 years ago, told the Jamaica Observer that he was shocked to hear about the US$500,000 lawsuit which was filed in Manhattan Federal Court in June.
“As the person who write Dem A Bleach I see it as a disrespect to me that there would be a lawsuit going on regarding the song and no one contacted me. If anyone ask Nardo Ranks where the idea for the song came from, he could never tell you,” said Solomon.
The New York Post tabloid reported on Nardo Ranks’s legal action and quoted his lawyer, Taso Pardalis, as confirming the lawsuit. HoodCelebrityy’s song, Run di Road, bears similarity in lyrics and melody to Dem A Bleach, which was produced by Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare in 1992.
HoodCelebrityy, whose real name is Tina Pinnock, is named as defendant in the suit along with KSR Group, the record company that released the song on March 20.
Solomon, who lives in Philadelphia, claims he initially wrote the song for General Trees, a more established deejay, but eventually gave it to Nardo Ranks. It turned out to be his breakthrough song.
According to Solomon, he is registered as the writer for Dem A Bleach through PRS For Music Limited, the United Kingdom’s largest royalties collection company.
After reading about the lawsuit on social media, Solomon said he contacted Pardalis’s office but has not heard from them since that call. He has not reached out to Nardo Ranks who lives in New York.
The deejay has not returned two calls for comment by the Jamaica Observer to his cellphone.
Dem A Bleach was released during the advent of skin bleaching in Jamaica. Recorded on the same beat as Murder She Wrote by Chaka Demus and Pliers, it was a massive hit in Jamaica as well as ethnic markets in the United States and United Kingdom.Solomon, who is originally from the Maxfield Avenue area of Kingston, is also co-writer of Tease Me, a big hit for Chaka Demus and Pliers in 1993.