The St. Louis production duo that produced the music for two of The Lonely Island’s Saturday Night Live Digital Shorts filed a lawsuit last week against Andy Samberg and Co., NBC Universal, and Universal Republic Records, claiming that it never received proper credit or compensation for its work. According to Entertainment Weekly, Monique Hines and Aleric “Rick Tha Rular” Banks (presumably, Rick Ross’ non-union, Mexican equivalent) submitted the tracks for what became “Shy Ronnie” and “Like A Boss” in 2009, with Samberg et al. then recording their own lyrics on top. And while “Shy Ronnie” went on to nab an Emmy nomination, and “Like A Boss” appeared on the group’s first album, Hines and Banks say they were never properly paid or acknowledged for their work. (In fact, Samberg has mostly only ever noted that the latter was a direct parody of Slim Thug’s “Like A Boss,” without calling attention to who created its similar backbeat.)
Banks’ and Hines’ company, StarStrukk Productions, is now seeking all profits (plus interest) from both songs, accompanying attorney’s fees, and additional unspecified damages, obviously feeling that they have been cheated out of the attention that the skits might otherwise have gotten them. But hey, at least the Riverfront Times called them rising stars! And actually, that article may also shed some light on why they’re just now getting around to suing: Interviewed in May of this year, Banks notes that he’s “still negotiating placement” for an unreleased “Shy Ronnie” track on Turtleneck & Chain—but the finished album features only the Rihanna-assisted “Shy Ronnie 2,” which Banks and Hines had nothing to do with, suggesting that’s when the relationship soured. But then, we’re just speculating. Like a boss.