The raunchy Detroit rap-rocker goes to court today for a hearing in a defamation suit launched by Kelley Russell, his ex-girlfriend and mother of his child, who claims one of his songs has damaged her reputation.
The song in question, "Black Chick, White Guy," a profanity-laced cut off Kid's multiplatinum 1998 Devil Without a Cause, is an apparently autobiographical description of a tortured romance.
The lyrics describe a couple meeting in eighth grade, and then go on to describe the girl as a high school Lolita, saying she had three kids with three men. There's also a verse about her being victimized by a drug-dealing boyfriend and behavior that practically drives the singer to suicide. "She had no man, no money, and no clue," Rock raps.
Although she's not explicitly named in "Black Chick, White Guy," Russell says everyone knows the track's about her, and she's suing Kid Rock (whose real name is Robert Ritchie) for invasion of privacy and intentionally inflicting emotional distress. The suit, filed in Wayne County (Michigan) Circuit Court in November, contends the song "contains several graphic, inflammatory, untrue, hurtful remarks."
The suit doesn't say how much money Russell is seeking, but she names Kid's label, Atlantic Records, as well as Spin and Rolling Stone magazines in the suit. The magazines allegedly ran interviews with the rocker in which he dissed Russell.
This is the second court war pending between the two. They have also been waging a six-year custody battle over their six-year-old son, Robert Ritchie Jr. A judge recently ordered the two to work out an agreement over the child's summer vacation time or the court would make the decision.
As for the defamation suit, Kid's lawyers say he was just telling the truth. "For centuries, artists have been telling their life stories in song, poetry and literature," attorney Orin Snyder tells the Associated Press. "The law honors and protects this right and does not permit plaintiffs to censor artistic expression by filing lawsuits. We are confident that the case will be dismissed."
Meanwhile, Russell's attorney, David Robinson, tells the wire service the First Amendment would not protect the song. He says a lyrical reference to an abortion Russell had while in high school is an obvious invasion of privacy.
Of course, Kid Rock isn't the only Motor City loudmouth in legal trouble over his no-holds-barred style. Detroit homeboy Eminem is facing a $10 million defamation suit brought by his own mother, who is angry about him calling her a pill-popping deadbeat.