Rick Ross sued over album title Teflon Don

Being a rap icon just isn’t what it used to be. Not too long ago, you wouldn’t dare step on the toes of sacred hip-hop reputations. But things have changed. Today, street cred is predicated on things like accusing the president of racism on national television, overdosing on cough syrup until you can hallucinate rhymes, or (sigh) releasing albums with titles like Souljaboytellem.com. Here’s another example of how far the game has come: Mafioso rap stalwart Rick Ross now finds himself a midst a civil lawsuit.

Exclaim! reports that Ross is being sued over the name of his 2010 album Teflon Don by another rapper named Teflon Don (born Donald Askey Jr.). Askey Jr. alleges a litany of legal theories including ”trademark infringement, common-law trademark rights, trademark delusion, unfair competition, tortious interference and fraud and identity theft,” which is a lot of legalese for “you’re famous and I’m not, and this whole name business is the reason why.”

And while the paraphrasing might be a little hyperbolic, it’s actually not too far off base. Askey’s main foundation for the suit is that the identical names have confused and alienated his own fans that find Ross’s music about drugs and money “demeaning” instead of Askey’s more “positive” outlook. According to Askey, this confusion has inhibited him from “building a brand” and “progressing” in the rap game.

Thus far, Ross has been mute on the whole affair. Probably because getting into a beef with another rapper these days means some initial harsh words and then being criticized in a ready-for-radio single seven months down the road. On that note, we’ll leave you with Ross’ 2006 single “Hustlin'”, which contains the line “I know Pablo, Noriega, the real Noriega,” which is funny because it doesn’t seem as if he did as much research this time around.

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