A man by the name of Kevin Brophy has sued Cardi B for having his tattoo displayed on the cover of her Gangsta B—- Vol 1, the Bronx rapper’s debut mixtape..
In 2016, graphic designer Timm Gooden was asked to design the artwork for Cardi’s album. He was paid $50 to produce a draft of the artwork and after he submitted his work, he was asked to photoshop a tattoo on the back of the male model seen on the final album cover.
Gooden said in a testimony that he had searched on Google for “back tattoos” when he came across Brohpy’s tat. Although the tattoo used was slightly altered for the cover, Brophy’s ruling states, “Most significantly, defining elements including the tiger and snake remain virtually unchanged. Under these circumstances, a jury will have to decide the merits of Defendants’ defense.”
Kevin Brophy claims in the suit that the rapper portrayed his likeness in “a misleading, offensive, humiliating and provocatively sexual way.” U.S. District Court Judge, Cormac Carney, on December 4th ruled for Cardi to take the stand in front of a jury, to make her case and prove her innocence.
“A reasonable jury in this case could conclude that there are insufficient transformative or creative elements on the GBMV1 cover to constitute a transformative use of Plaintiff’s tattoo,” Carney said on Friday.
Brophy also claims because of the use of his tattoo, it attracted more listeners to stream the album resulted in the album’s success. The mixtape would peak at number 20 on the Billboard Top Rap Albums chart.
Carney’s ruling doesn’t agreeing stating that the defense, “does [not] cite to any survey, poll, focus group, or other study where listeners—much less 100% of listeners—stated that the sole driver of their decision of what music to listen to is cover art, or that cover art is absolutely critical to their decision to listen to a song or album. Asked at his deposition whether he looked at surveys, polls, or studies regarding why consumers buy records, he could cite none. That is for good reason. Such a conclusion is pure fantasy.”