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Chris Brown and Drake accused of song-theft on No Guidance

By | Published on Thursday 7 October 2021


Chris Brown and Drake ripped off an earlier track when they wrote their 2019 collaborative song ‘No Guidance’, according to singer Braindon Cooper and producer Timothy Valentine. Not only that, but ‘No Guidance’ includes a sneaky lyric alluding to the audacious song-theft, it’s alleged.

Cooper and Valentine reckon that ‘No Guidance’ lifts from their 2016 track ‘I Love Your Dress’. In fact, according to their new lawsuit, “by every method of analysis, ‘No Guidance’ is a forgery – copied from plaintiffs, who wrote, recorded, and published their original song ‘I Love Your Dress’ approximately three years earlier”.

What has been “forged” specifically? Well, says Cooper and Valentine’s lawsuit, “in addition to containing similar beat patterns, the melody and lyrics used in the chorus/hook of ‘No Guidance’ – ‘you got it, girl; you got it’ – are so strikingly similar to those used in the chorus of ‘I Love Your Dress’ that they cannot be purely coincidental”.

It goes on: “Expert musicologists have compared the two works and found, inter alia, a high degree of combined similar features, including the hook lyrics and the primary scale degrees. Without limitation, the expert musicologists have also noted that both works also use the distinctive sound effect of a pitch metronome-like click and a vocal effect through which portions of the primary vocal part appear to have been sped up to a high register and added to double/echo the primary vocal part”.

Beyond the musical similarities between ‘No Guidance’ and ‘I Love Your Dress’, Cooper and Valentine say they also have evidence that Brown and Drake could have accessed their track – which was posted to SoundCloud in 2016 and then distributed to all the streaming services in early 2019 – before starting work on their collaboration.

Cooper says that in March 2019 he was approached by an A&R representative associated with Drake’s then label Cash Money Records who wanted to know if the musician had any unreleased music he could get access to.

Although Cooper didn’t send any unreleased tracks, he did direct him to his then new album ‘My Life In Black & White’, which includes ‘I Love Your Dress’. All of which possibly suggests that people linked to Drake – and by association Brown – were aware of Cooper’s music, including the supposedly ripped off track.

As for this sneaky ‘No Guidance’ lyric that allegedly alludes to Brown and Drake knowingly ripping off Cooper’s work, that goes “flew the coop at seventeen, no guidance”. Because Cooper is often known as ‘Coop’, see? Which seems a bit of a stretch, but, reckons the lawsuit, that lyric is “a disguised reference to Cooper, which defendants used mockingly after stealing substantial portions of the work created by Cooper”.

It remains to be seen how Brown and Drake respond to the song-theft claims, though Cooper and Valentine say they want 50% of the rights and royalties in the duo’s 2019 hit.