Drake had a smash hit on his hands last year with the moody “Marvin’s Room,” which spawned several copycat versions. Now, the YMCMB star finds himself in hot water after an alleged ex-girlfriend who claimed to have co-written the track filed a formal complaint seeking damages.
Ericka Lee, reportedly the female voice on the staged phone call for the song, says she and Drake were lovers and business partners for a time in 2010. Lee filed the suit Thursday (February 2) in a California federal court where she states that the pair often collaborated on lyrics and poems. The suit further says that a verbal agreement between the two to craft “Marvin’s Room” was originally supposed to be an even split in royalties. The complaint says that Lee’s contribution to the song was “highly significant.”
Lee says she received phone texts from Drake that support her songwriter claims, with one reading, “U basically made that song.” Lee was credited as “Syren Lyric Muse” for the song and the two were said to have registered the recording last July, as Lee was confirmed as the featured voice. Drake’s label, Cash Money Records, filed a claim as well that said the work was done as an “employer for hire” transaction.
Lee continued saying that after the release of the song, the relationship with Drake swiftly ended and subsequent talks were said to have happened. Lee hired a lawyer last November after reported fruitless attempts on her end to make an amicable deal went unmet.
Neither Drake nor his label has addressed the suit publicly.
UPDATE: Drake, via a statement from one of his reps, has denied Ericka Lee’s claims: “This claim is entirely without merit and our client has not engaged in any wrongful conduct. Ericka Lee consented to the use of her voice in the song ‘Marvin’s Room’ prior to its release. Lee asked only for the credit she received as ‘Syren Lyric Muse,’ and she did not ask for any compensation. It was only after she retained a lawyer that there was a demand for payment. Drake tried for months to resolve the matter amicably, and he now looks forward to being vindicated in court.”