Famed hip-hop DJ and producer Madlib finds himself entangled in a legal dispute over his iconic animated alter ego, Lord Quas. The artist behind the character, Keith Griego, asserts that Lord Quas was originally created for the cover of Madlib’s 1999 single “Microphone Mathematics.” Griego’s lawsuit, filed on April 19 and first reported by Seamus Hughes’ Court Watch, claims that despite Lord Quas’s initial creation for a specific purpose, Madlib has since utilized the character extensively on album covers, music videos, merchandise, and even attempted to trademark the persona.

For over 25 years, Lord Quas has been an integral part of Madlib’s artistic expression. Born Otis Jackson Jr., Madlib, hailing from Oxnard, has made significant contributions to hip-hop through collaborative projects with renowned artists like MF Doom, Freddie Gibbs, and J Dilla. Notably, Madlib’s alter ego, Quasimoto, features Lord Quas, whose distinctive pitched-shifted voice adds a unique dimension to his music. Despite Lord Quas’s prominence in Madlib’s work, Griego alleges that he has not received proper compensation or credit for the character’s continued use.

The outcome of this legal battle could have significant implications for both parties involved. If Griego prevails, Madlib’s copyright on Lord Quas may be invalidated, potentially leading to financial repercussions for the producer. As the case unfolds, the dispute underscores the complexities of intellectual property rights in the realm of music and visual artistry. Madlib and his representatives have yet to comment on the matter, leaving fans and industry observers eagerly awaiting further developments in this ongoing saga.