Ice Spice Slapped with Copyright Infringement Suit Over ‘In Ha Mood’

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Ice Spice copyright lawsuit

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Photo Credit: Akein O. Brown / CC by 3.0

Ice Spice is hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit over ‘In Ha Mood,’ by a Brooklyn rapper who says the song is ‘strikingly similar’ to his earlier track — which she and her producer allegedly had plenty of opportunities to have heard.

Have you really made it as a young musician if you haven’t been hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit? Ice Spice is facing a suit filed by a Brooklyn rapper who alleges that her hit “In Ha Mood” was copied from his earlier track, insisting that she and her producer RIOTUSA would undoubtedly have heard it.

On Wednesday, January 17, Duval Chamberlain, also known as rapper D. Chamberz, filed a complaint in Brooklyn federal court, with allegations that Ice Spice’s 2023 hit is “strikingly similar” to his 2021 song “In That Mood.” His suit names Ice Spice (legal name Isis Naija Gaston) as a defendant, alongside her frequent producer, RIOTUSA (Ephrem Lopez, Jr.), Universal Music Group, Capitol Records, and 10K Projects.

“By every method of analysis, ‘In Ha Mood’ is a forgery,” Chamberlain’s attorneys write. “Any proper comparative analysis of the beat, lyrics, hook, rhythmic structure, metrical placement, and narrative context will demonstrate that ‘In Ha Mood’ was copied or principally derived from ‘In That Mood.’”

D. Chamberz’ track was released about 18 months before Ice Spice’s “In Ha Mood,” which reached No. 58 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 18 on the US Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs chart. “In Ha Mood” was included on Ice Spice’s debut EP, “Like..?”

“Non-expert listeners have independently pointed out that Defendants ‘stole’ ‘In That Mood’ in creating ‘In Ha Mood,’” Chamberlain’s lawyers assert. “The two songs clearly employ numerous noticeably similar composition elements and lyrics, which result in a sound and feel that are very much alike.”

The suit explains that, as a copyright infringement lawsuit must show that the defendant had access to the original work in order to have copied it, D. Chamberz had shared his track to his Instagram followers, with the song getting “significant airplay” on New York City radio stations like Hot 97 and Power 105.1.

One instance is cited in which producer RIOTUSA allegedly posted an Instagram story of him listening to Hot 97 “less than two minutes” before D. Chamberz’s song was played on the air. Further, attorneys for Chamberlain point out that RIOTUSA’s father is a well-known NYC radio personality, DJ Enuff, who hosts a show on Hot 97 and “actively engaged with D. Chamberz’s social media content.”

As a result, the lawsuit asserts that “it is probable — or at the very least, reasonably possible” that Ice Spice and the other defendants had heard the earlier work prior to the creation of “In Ha Mood.”