Lil Nas X has issued a response in his legal battle over his single "Rodeo."
"The work, ‘Rodeo,’ was created independently from and without knowledge of the allegedly infringed work," the 20-year-old's statement reads. "Without admitting the use of any copyrighted material allegedly owned by Plaintiffs, the conduct of which they complain was impliedly and/or expressly licensed."
In October 2019, Lil Nas X and his "Rodeo" collaborators were hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit. Producers Don Lee and Glen Keith claimed "Rodeo" is similar to their 2017 work "gwenXdonlee4-142." This was later incorporated into PuertoReefa and Sakrite Duexe's "Broad Day."
The lawsuit claims that "Broad Day" was "performed, published, and distributed widely, including without limitation in and around the Atlanta hip-hop scene." The plaintiff believes Lil Nas X heard this song in his hometown and was inspired to shape "Rodeo" after "Broad Day." The lawsuit accuses "Rodeo" of having the same four-measure phrase outlining the chord progression E, F, G, F, E, similar instruments and drum beats, and more.
Despite this, Lil Nas X continues to work the single. He performed "Rodeo" at this year's Grammys, debuting a remix with Nas. This was accompanied by a new music video for the record; Cardi was unavailable.