According to an exclusive story by The Hollywood Reporter, a woman claiming to be Drake’s ex-girlfriend and the inspiration for “Marvin’s Room” is suing the YMCMB rapper for co-writing royalties on the song.
Ericka Lee, who is credited in the liner notes of “Marvin’s Room” as a vocalist under the name “Syren Lyric Muse,” believes she is entitled to a larger share of the song’s royalties. Lee filed her initial claim in July of 2011, and was met by a counterclaim from Cash Money/Universal Records roughly six weeks later. According to Lee’s suit, she believes her “contribution is highly significant to the overall work.”
“Drake allegedly agreed to work with Lee on ‘Marvin’s Room’ and split the proceeds,” writes Eriq Gardner of The Hollywood Reporter. “Lee says she was asked to record the song’s ‘hook’ as well as the opening monologue that would serve as the thematic framework for a song about Drake’s yearning for an ex-girlfriend and how his fame interfered with his love life.”
Lee also claims she was offered a $50,000 payment along with 4-5% of the song’s royalties after threatening Drake with legal action prior to filing her lawsuit. “Marvin’s Room” peaked at the number 21 spot on Billboard magazine’s Hot 100 singles chart.
UPDATE: Yesterday (February 3), a spokesperson for Drake told The Los Angeles Times' "Pop & Hiss" column that there is no merit to Erick Lee's claims. "This claim is entirely without merit and our client has not engaged in any wrongful conduct. Ericka Lee consented to the use of her voice in the song 'Marvin’s Room' prior to its release. Lee asked only for the credit she received as 'Syren Lyric Muse,' and she did not ask for any compensation," said the Drake camp yesterday. "It was only after she retained a lawyer that there was a demand for payment. Drake tried for months to resolve the matter amicably, and he now looks forward to being vindicated in court."
A history of the "Marvin's Room" inspiration and controversy can be read at "Pop & Hiss."
UPDATE #2: According to TMZ, Drake has filed an official response to Ericka Lee's lawsuit that claims he owes her compensation for use of her voice on "Marvin's Room." In the filing, Drizzy says he never promised to pay her any money, and that "she consented to the use of her voice in the song 'Marvin’s Room' for no compensation." He also denied having a romantic relationship with Lee, and denis threatening her for filing her initial complaint. A judge is yet to rule on the matter.