Even before its official release this time last month, the latest entry in the popular Grand Theft Auto franchise had been billed with one of the best videogame soundtracks ever, thanks to a leak that revealed an impressive mix of genres, styles, and eras.
All which no doubt helped come the September 17th release of Grand Theft Auto V (GTAV), where gamers clamoured to get the latest blockbuster entry in the series that puts players in to the virtual roles of trigger-happy, pedal-pushing criminals in a massive open-world environment.
GTA V swiftly earned its makers, developers Rockstar Games, a staggering $1 billion, as Forbes reports, making it the biggest sales launch in entertainment history, all which probably only heightens the aggravation of a US rapper who claims that the videogame makers used his music without permission as part of the blockbuster game’s equally epic soundtrack.
Among the expansive list of real-world tunes in GTA V – featuring everything from Snoop Dogg and Queen to Muse and Black Flag – is two tracks from rapper-producer Daz Dillinger, namely ‘C-Walk’ and ‘Nothin’ But The Cavi Hit’, but the 40-year old rhymer says that Rockstar Games, and publisher Take-Two Interactive, didn’t pay him for the use of his music, as TMZ (via VideoGamer) reports.
Dillinger, who began his career during the mid-90s boom of Death Row Records and even worked on Dr. Dre’s iconic LP The Chronic, alleges that he was offered US$4,271 for the use of his two songs, but a cease and desist letter issued to GTA V‘s makers says he turned down the “offensively low offer.”
Regardless, Dillinger now wants the record-breaking videogame makers to make him a better offer for the use of his music or to recall and destroy all unsold copies of the game. “It’s about respecting an artist’s work. Rockstar didn’t do that here and I can’t let them get away with it.”
Dillinger and his Kushner Carlson legal team say the case is about “respecting an artist’s work. Rockstar didn’t do that here and I can’t let them get away with it,” and are giving Rockstar and Take Two 14 days to comply with their cease and desist, or to offer a deal.
Considering it historic launch and with more than 15 million copies of GTA V already sold and many more millions still being shipped as the title flies off store shelves, Dillinger’s legal battle would put an obvious spanner in the works, assuming he is successful.
Both tracks – which feature on GTA V‘s in-game virtual radio station ‘West Coast Classics’ – are credited to other performers, with ‘Nothin’ But The Cavi Hit’ credited to Tha Dogg Pound – of which Daz Dillinger is a former member, and ‘C-Walk’ credited to Death Row Records rapper Kurupt. At this stage, it is unclear if Dillinger actually holds the rights to the two songs he is suing over.
The ‘West Coast Classics’ in-game radio station is part of Grand Theft Auto‘s ongoing tradition of delivering pop culture satire as well as a sense of realism, complete with commercials, cheesy radio IDs, and on-air DJs, played by musicians including funk forefather Bootsy Collins, reggae legend Lee Scratch Perry, indie muso Twin Shadow, Kenny ‘Danger Zone’ Loggins, and Flying Lotus.
The latter avant-DJ and producer also lends new music to the series in his fictional station FlyLo FM, featuring exclusive tracks from the likes of Outkast, A$AP Rocky, Clams Casino, Hudson Mohawke, and Tyler, The Creator (you can have a listen to the full fiction station broadcast here).