Lil Nas X released “Rodeo” on the 27th of June 2019 which was featured on his debut EP 7 in 2019. The country trap song received mixed reviews, many praised Cardi B’s verse. It debuted at No.22 on the Billboard Hot 100!
In October 2019, two producers Don Lee and Glen Keith filed a lawsuit claiming “Rodeo” shared similarities to their work “Broad Day”. The copyright infringement lawsuit initially claimed that the two songs share a 4 measure phrase outlining the chord progression E, F, G, F, E. It also said that the songs made use of similar instruments, drumbeats and more.
The producers urged that “Broad Day” was performed extensively in the Atlanta hip hop scene. It was distributed widely and hence they speculate that Lil Nas may have heard it at the time and incorporated it into his work.
Lil Nas X in his legal response argues that “Rodeo’ was crafted with no knowledge of the allegedly infringed work. His statement read “Without admitting the use of any copyrighted material allegedly owned by Plaintiffs, the conduct of which they complain was impliedly and/or expressly licensed.” He denied all claims put forth by the duo.
Since the Lawsuit, Lil Nas X performed the piece at the Grammy’s and even released a remixed version in collaboration with Nas. He also released a music video for the remixed version that did not feature Cardi B.
Currently Lil Nas X is also facing a copyright suit involving his work “Carry On”. A music publisher is seeking 25 million over allegations that the rapper sampled and earlier song by singer “Bobby Caldwell, also titled “Carry On” without permission.