Daily Archives: July 7, 2017

Photographer Sues Kylie, Kendall Jenner Over Tupac T-Shirt Image

The photographer who shot the Tupac Shakur portraits that Kendall and Kylie Jenner used for their controversial “vintage” T-shirt line has sued the reality TV stars for copyright infringement.

In photographer Michael Miller’s complaint, he said the Jenners “misappropriated and wrongfully exploited at least two original photographs of late hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur, slapping the iconic photographs on garments and overlaying them with dubious imagery and text,” Billboard reports.

The shirts were briefly on sale before an onslaught of criticism over the clothing – which also jacked trademarked images from Led Zeppelin, the Notorious B.I.G., Pink Floyd, Ozzy Osbourne, the Doors and more – were pulled.

Miller’s lawsuit added that the photographer was never notified that the Jenners “intended to exploit his photography, let alone obtain his authorization.” The lawsuit also mentioned that Miller didn’t want to be associated with Kendall in particular following the model’s minor role in the Fyre Festival disaster as well as infamous Pepsi ad, which the lawsuit called “public relations disasters.”

“It was very upsetting to Mr. Miller,” the photographer’s lawyer Scott Alan Burroughs told USA Today. “His photography and particularly these photos are extremely personal and extremely important to him. To see them out there being used by someone who never advised you they were going to be used would be upsetting to any artist.”

Burroughs added that Miller registered his Tupac images at the U.S. Office of Copyright and that he could receive statutory damages of $150,000 per photo.

In a statement to TMZ, the Jenners’ representative Todd Wilson reiterated that the sisters had no role in the actual creation of the clothes. “It’s like suing an actor for being in a movie,” Wilson said of Miller’s lawsuit.

Miller is the latest to threaten legal action over the Jenners’ ill-conceived shirt design: Both the Notorious B.I.G.’s mother Voletta Wallace and the Doors issued cease-and-desist letters against the shirts, which were “ironic, at least, and criminal, at worst, both morally, ethically and artistically,” Jeff Jampol, manager of the Doors and the Jim Morrison estate, told Rolling Stone.

Following the uproar, the Jenners apologized in a joint statement, “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.”

The B.I.G. estate added that while they “appreciated” the Jenners’ apology, “the matter has yet to be resolved.”

Arcade Fire recently fired back at Kylie and Kendall Jenner with their own line of shirts that emblazoned the band’s new logos atop the sisters’ images. All profits from those tour-exclusive shirts were given to charity.

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Grunge Era Musical in Development at Seattle Theater

A Seattle theater is currently developing a grunge musical that could feature songs from some of the genre’s greatest artists, including Nirvana, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains.

The Seattle Repertory Theatre has commissioned the project, which will pepper the Nineties tracks into an original story about “a brilliant grunge musician and the rival who may have killed him,” Variety reports. The jukebox musical takes place in Seattle in the early Nineties.

While the musical is still in the early stages – title, casting and anticipated premiere date haven’t been settled yet – the production will have access to the BMG publishing catalog, which includes albums from Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden and more. If a grunge track is picked for the musical, it would still need to receive final approval for the rights holders.

The untitled musical is co-created and written by Wendy C. Goldberg, the artistic director of the O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference.

The project would be the first musical to feature the music of Nirvana; in 2014 Courtney Love revealed that a Broadway musical utilizing Kurt Cobain’s music “is very likely to happen,” although no progress has been made since that statement.

“There would have to be a story, and a great story, one that hasn’t been told before,” Love said at the time. “I would devote countless hours with an A-team to create a project that reflects Kurt in the most respectful but honest way possible, so that his story, his music and his legacy can be resurrected on stage for not only the world to see, but more importantly for our daughter to see. I know her father’s spirit will be on that stage, and sitting in that theater with her will be the most emotional experience of our lives.”

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Jay-Z Turns '4:44' Title Track Into Eight-Minute Video Collage

On the same day Jay-Z‘s 4:44 expanded to major streaming services, the rapper dropped another Tidal exclusive Friday: His new video for the album’s title track.

The collage-like video is packed with disparate images: The video opens with cellphone-shot footage of a young boy singing Nina Simone’s then cuts to a clip of All by Myself: The Eartha Kitt Story, where the singer talks about love.

Fleeting images of subway and street dancers, riots, a Jean-Michel Basquiat interview and seemingly unrelated viral videos like the “Leprechaun in Mobile, Alabama” news segment fill the video before it circles back to live footage of Jay-Z and Beyoncé performing “Drunk in Love” together soundtracked to a live rendition of Al Green’s “Judy.”

The video concludes with unseen footage of a joyous Blue Ivy, who raps on the 4:44 bonus cut “Blue’s Freestyle/We Family.”

The eight-minute “4:44” video is currently exclusive to Tidal users; non-users can preview the clip’s first 44 seconds. “4:44” follows the video for “The Story of O.J.” as the second clip off 4:44.

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