The family of late rapper the Notorious B.I.G. is taking a Swiss snowboarding company to court for unlawfully using Biggie's image on their products.
On Monday, The Blast obtained court documents stating that the company created by Biggie's mother Voletta Wallace and widow Faith Evans are suing the Swiss-based Yes. Snowboards. According to reports, the Notorious B.I.G., LLC claims that Yes. Snowboards partnered with iconic hip-hop photographer Chi Modu to create a collection called "Greats x Chi." In this series, the company uses many of Madu's famous photos as the decals for their snowboarding products. These include images of the late rapper.
Since Biggie is one of the most popular figures in music, his likeness has been tapped countless times for brand collaborations. Yet this time, the Notorious B.I.G., LLC alleges that neither Yes. Snowboards or Chi Modu went through the proper channels of legal licensing. As a result, his estate isn't being paid any of the profits. Additionally, the B.I.G. LLC apparently has a partnership with another snowboarding company and Yes.'s illegal collaboration could ruin their existing contract. This forced Ms. Wallace and Faith Evans to take legal action.
"At a time where fame and popularity for musicians comes and goes on an accelerated time scale, it is hard to quantify the power—both emotional and financial—of a musician whose brand and persona are still appreciated, recognized, and replicated more than two decades after his death," the lawsuit states.
The Notorious B.I.G., LLC is looking to get an injunction against the company as well as gaining the profits made from the boards, along with unspecified damages. As of right now, Biggie is the only artist to take action against the company. It should be noted that several deceased rappers are included in the collection, including Tupac Shakur, Old Dirty Bastard, and Eazy-E.