Bad Bunny is currently being sued for sampling DJ Playero’s music in his hit song “Safaera,” but according to Playero, he has “no knowledge” of the lawsuit.
According to reports from Billboard, the Puerto Rican hitmaker along with his collaborators on “Safaera,” which includes his frequent collaborator Tainy, have been sued for direct and copyright infringement. The lawsuit was filed on September 27, claiming the “unauthorized incorporation” of DJ Playero’s “Besa Tu Cuerpo,” “Chocha Con Bicho,” and “Sigan Bailando” into the song “for which no license or authorization was obtained.”
The lawsuit--which also names collaborators Jowell & Randy and Bunny’s label Rimas Entertainment, plus seven other artists and music companies--states: “On information and belief, Defendants were well aware of the need to ‘clear’ the various third-party works sampled on ‘Safaera’ by obtaining licenses to each, as demonstrated by the fact that, for example, Melissa Elliott p/k/a Missy Elliot is credited as a writer on ‘Safaera’ due to its sampling of her hit song ‘Get Ur Freak On.’”
The suit also points out that the track was temporarily pulled from Spotify due to a claim that a fragment of the song did not have the corresponding rights. “However, at no point did Defendants ever ‘clear’ the ‘Playero Works’ for use on ‘Safaera.’”
The lawsuit was filed by the Florida-based AOM Music Inc., which does business as BM Records, the rights holder for the collective “Playero Works.”
Founded by Pedro Merced in 1978, BM Records became a resource for the underground reggaeton scene in Puerto Rico. In 1991, Merced offered DJ Playero a distribution deal, and one year later, the Playero 37 Underground mixtape, featuring “Besa Tu Cuerpo” and “Chocha Con Bicho,” was released under BM Records. That was followed by Playero Street Mix Vol. 1 in 1995 and Playero Street Mix Vol. 2 (featuring “Sigan Bailando”) in 1996.
Merced is asking for $150,000 in statutory damages for each infringed work, including attorneys’ fees and costs.
“Safaera,” is a standout track on Bad Bunny’s chart-topping sophomore album YHLQMDLG. The nearly five-minute song is influenced by old school perreo and reggaeton beats, produced by Tainy, DJ Orma, and Subelo Neo. The song samples and interpolates various classic hits, including the hook to Missy Elliott’s “Get Ur Freak On.”
Following news of the lawsuit, DJ Playero took to Instagram to write a long statement, clarifying that he knows nothing about the lawsuit.
“I, DJ Playero, am not signed with anyone. I do not know that company. I do not profit from anyone, and I have no knowledge of that lawsuit,” he stated. “I ask you to give me the space to inform myself with my lawyers and take the best action in this regard.”