The Pharcyde - Remaining The Pharcyde Members Sue Former Bandmates Over Name Rights
The remaining members of hip-hop group The Pharcyde are taking legal action against their two former bandmates amid allegations they are illegally touring under the group name.
Rapper Fatlip, real name Derrick Stewart, left the Runnin' hitmakers after the release of their second album in 1995, while Slimkid3, aka Tre Hardson, walked away from the band to go solo in 2000, leaving Romye 'Bootie Brown' Robinson and Imani Wilcox to continue under the group moniker.
Fatlip and Slimkid3 subsequently reunited and staged a series of performances together, and all four original members joined forces in 2008 to hit the stage at the Rock the Bells Festival Series across the U.S.
Fatlip and Slimkid3 have since announced plans to tour Europe as The Pharcyde to celebrate the band's 1992 debut album, Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde, with backing from bosses at their original label, Delicious Vinyl Records - but Robinson and Wilcox have taken issue with the billing for the live gigs and have filed suit in a federal court in Los Angeles.
The veteran stars are citing the terms of a recording contract, signed in 1992 and amended in 1997, in which they were granted sole rights to the band's "names, likenesses and other identifying material".
The plaintiffs claim a number of cease and desist letters have been ignored by Fatlip and Slimkid3, leaving them no choice but to sue for breach of contract, trademark infringement and unfair competition. Delicious Vinyl Records executives have also been named as defendants in the court papers.