Exclusive: Rick Ross, DJ Khaled, Def Jam Named In Infringement Lawsuit by Teflon Don
Rick Ross’ album Teflon Don is causing quiet some confusion due to rising independent artist Teflon Don being that of the same name. The hip hop artist, rapper Teflon Don, born Donald Askew Jr, who got his name while in the U.S. Military more than 10 years ago, stated in an interview with MemphisRap.com that he has valid evidence that the names in his lawsuit which include Rick Ross (William Leonard Roberts II), DJ Khaled (Khaled bin Abdul Khaled), Def Jam, Universal Music Group, Slip N Slide Records and Maybach Music Group were aware of him and who he is.
Rapper Teflon is naming rapper Rick Ross, DJ Khaled, Def Jam, Universal Music Group, Slip N Slide Records and Maybach Music Group in a lawsuit for trademark infringement, common-law trademark rights, trademark delusion, unfair competition, tortious interference and fraud and identity theft in a pending filing on today (Monday, August 29) in Federal Court in Memphis, TN.
Teflon, who would not go into specifics of his evidence, says he had business dealings with DJ Khaled, now president of Def Jam South, the southern division of Def Jam Recordings the subsidiary owned by Universal Music Group and working label with Rick Ross’s Maybach Music Group. According to Teflon Don, the two [he and DJ Khaled] did a song together in 2007 for “I Represent” which was put out through Coast2Coast mixtapes on Volume 10.
“On the song “I Represent” DJ Khaled can be heard on the song saying, “To My Homie Teflon Don, we the best,” which Teflon Don states was part of their dealings.
“All these cats knew about me,” stated Teflon Don to MemphisRap.com. “I tried to be nice about everything because I got a good heart, but with this situation I’m not happy at all,” he adds.
“You’re not going to let anybody take anything from you and your family, I’m not going to let anybody take anything from me and my family.”
“I put too much work in and ethnic in all of these things to show the world that I can make it without the major support and I’ve been doing it, I’ve been showing people how we can make new markets. Slid into the Memphis Grizzlies era, in video games and now I’m into movies,” the rapper explains.
The rapper who is known in commerce by his name “Teflon Don,” for album “God, The Government, The Game,” claims that the associates that had to do with the Teflon Don album, infringed on his brand that he had been building for a long time.
“It is almost belittling to me because the music he [Rick Ross] puts out is almost demeaning and the music that I put out is more positive. We have two different crowds and it is making me lose clientele based on the fact that they think that I am a negative rapper. So when they hear that Teflon Don wants to perform at a certain place sometimes they think negative and that was not the brand that I was building all these years.”
“At the time of our first interview I didn’t know much, but I’ve found new evidence since and it’s not about what you know in court but what you can prove.”
The rapper who has performed his song “M.E.M.P.H.I.S. Grizzlies” in front of thousands of game attendees has claimed that it was like he was going uphill, but then downhill because all the major support and budget for the Teflon Don album was now blocking what he was building over years.
“I worked my way to performing in front of thousands of people at NBA games without major support and I worked my way to where I was performing at a big arena… I’m building a name, I’m building a brand and for someone to come with an album and an alias the name “Teflon Don” and they have big budgets to put behind it, it blocks me from progressing. I was climbing the ladder and it feels like I went straight downhill and I don’t feel like that’s fair,” said the rapper.
Rapper Rick Ross who plans to open a new wing restaurant called Wingstop in Memphis, TN, Teflon Don’s hometown, released album Teflon Don in 2010.