According to the Wall Street Journal, 50 Cent has been battling a copyright infringement case for his "Before I Self Destruct" album and movie, after a man by the name of Shadrach Winstead claimed he stole ideas for his work based off of his book. Winstead wrote a book called "The Preachers Son - But the Streets Turned Me into a Gangster", and he argued that 50 took the story for his CD and movie from the book.
Winstead went on to cite passages from his book that were all too similar to various lyrics 50 used, such as, "get the dope, cut this dope," "let's keep it popping," and "the strong takes from the weak, but the smart takes from everybody." Meanwhile, the courts felt as though it was nothing more than coincidence that 50's lyrics sounded similar to Winstead's book when he rapped, "get the dope, cut the dope, get the dope," "let's get it popping," and "the strong sit down, but the weak work for me." The appeal statement for the case claimed:
"They are either common in general or common with respect to hip hop culture, and do not enjoy copyright protection. The average person reading or listening to these phrases in the context of an overall story or song would not regard them as unique and protectable."
Winstead's lawyer is still arguing the verdict to dismiss the lawsuit against 50 Cent.
"What I find controversial is the Third Circuit's adoption of Judge [Stanley] Chesler's conclusion that there is one rule of law applicable to inner-city phrases and street language, and a different rule for language and phrases used by white people in the suburbs."