Killer Spin Doctor

Plus, Metallica tribute band gets lawsuit threat, then apology, and a street artist sues over music video exposure

click to enlarge Killer Mike
Killer Mike

HOT: Killer Spin Doctor

Republicans would already have a field day blasting Bernie Sanders if he becomes the Democratic presidential nominee by simply shouting “Socialist!” over and over. They could also use the “big scary rapper!” card, after Hip Hop MC Killer Mike worked the spin room for Sanders after the most recent Democratic candidate debate, talking up the Vermont senator to reporters. By some accounts, Mike (who has appeared at Sanders rallies and lately is known for his work with Run the Jewels) was the most effective spinner in the room. “Vice President Killer Mike” does have a nice ring to it.

WARM: Lawsuit Days Re-Revisited 

Sandman, a Metallica tribute band from Canada, got to see the best and worst of Metallica recently (and not by watching the Some Kind of Monster documentary or listening to the group’s first and latest albums). The tribute act received a 41-page lawsuit threat from Metallica’s lawyers over the use of the Metal icon’s name and logo in promotional materials. Metallica reportedly read about the lawsuit after it made headlines, and set out to make it right. Saying they whole-heartedly support tribute acts, the band members posted on their website that the suit was from a “very overzealous attorney” who was sent on a permanent ice-fishing vacation to Alaska as a result of the threat.

COLD: Street Art Suits

A lawsuit by a street artist over his work being printed (without permission) on a dress Katy Perry wore to last year's Met Gala in NYC makes sense, but things get a little trickier in another music-related suit filed by a different graffiti artist. Jamie Hef has filed a federal complaint against Dance Pop singer Kiesza and her label, Universal, saying that his work was used in the her breakthrough video for the 2014 song "Hideaway." But it's not on a dress or co-opted in graphics — it's pretty much background wallpaper. The clip features the singer dancing down a New York City street, past walls that include (presumably unauthorized) work painted by Hef. 

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