On an Instagram live stream that was to celebrate the 30th anniversary of his album “AmeriKKKA’s Most Wanted”, rapper Ice Cube told his fans of how Fred Rogers sued him for using the theme song of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” for the track “A Gangsta’s Fairytale” that was included in the album.
The album was a highly anticipated one among the fans of hip-hop as it was the first solo album from Ice Cube after the rapper’s highly publicized departure from the NWA – one of the most influential and popular hip-hop groups.
The rapper explained that Mr. Rogers was earning five cents per every record that was sold, until the soundbite was taken off because of the court filings from the TV star. The track in question was “Won’t You Be My Neighbor”, the theme song of Rogers’ TV show.
The rapper said that he was sharing this relatively unknown feud with the public as a “fun fact”. Rogers passed away in 2003 at the age of 74 because of stomach cancer. His family or other representatives have not made any public statements over the rapper’s reveal as of this writing.
Despite the nonchalant manner with which Ice Cube shared the story, social media users have been debating each other over the alleged court filings. Both as his TV persona Mr. Rogers and as a human being Fred Rogers has gained the hearts of many Americans via his character.
Not only did his program explain many complex issues to children in a compassionate and heartfelt way, all accounts of the man behind the camera proves that the former minister was a charming and empathetic communicator who was beloved by those who knew him.
Rogers’ popularity resurged with the 2018 documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” and Tom Hanks starring “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” in 2019.
Much of the consensus seems to be that Rogers could be justified for taking the rapper to court. Fans argue that he was famously protective of his brand and image not for selfish reasons but because he genuinely cared about his kind influence on his viewers – the children of America.
Others say that it was a step too far as it is common for rappers to ‘sample’ small bits of music from everywhere as a background to their music.
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