The hallowed Halls of Justice have just been pimp slapp'd.
A California man who left a message on Snoop Dogg's home answering machine bashing the rapper's ex-boss and nemesis, hip-hop kingpin Marion "Suge" Knight, has filed a lawsuit against Snoop for including the taped recording on a track called "Pimp Slapp'd" off Snoop's Paid Tha Cost to Be da Bo$$. The man claims the inclusion of the track on the 2002 album has put his life in jeopardy.
The lawsuit, filed on Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court by a man only identified as "John Doe," claimed that the one-minute message snippet played on "Pimp Slapp'd" was a private call--in which the caller called Knight a "bitch" and said Tha Row Records boss "f--ked up the Industry"--was not meant for distribution. With Snoop releasing the song, the final cut on the album, the man, whose nickname on the tape is "Jim Bob," said he now fears for his life given Knight's history of bad blood with Snoop and the mogul's association with the Bloods street gang.
According to the complaint lodged against Snoop Dogg, Priority Records, Capitol Records and Doggy Style Records, the message was recorded some time in October 2002 on the 31-year-old rapper's answering machine. When Jim Bob/John Doe later heard his voice mail on the song, he called Snoop (aka Calvin Broadus) to find out why he did it, and Snoop replied because "it was so real."
The suit states that Mr. Jim Bob now worries for his and his elderly mother's safety since they live in the area of Compton, where Knight--a convicted felon who was just sprung from jail last month after serving two months for parole violations--is rumored to "be involved with gangs, to threaten, assault and hurt people."
The plaintiff also alleges that since the song was released, many people have recognized his voice on the tape, and he has received death threats as a result of supporting Snoop in his so-called "turf war" with Suge.
"As a result of the unauthorized use of Plaintiff's private phone message, Broadus has involved Plaintiff in a battle between himself and Mr. Knight," the complaint reads. "Defendant's outrageous acts were so extreme in degree as to go beyond all bounds of decency and to be regarded as intolerable in a civilized society."
The suit seeks unspecified damages against Snoop for all the emotional distress Jim Bob suffered due to the purported violation of his privacy and the rapper's failure to obtain the rights to use Jim Bob's voice. It also seeks an injunction to have his taped message removed from any future pressings of the album or single.
Snoop Dogg's camp declined to comment on the lawsuit, as did representatives from Knight and Capitol Records.
Anybody who has picked up a copy of Vibe can tell you that Snoop Dogg used to record for Knight's label when it was still known as Death Row Records. But the two had an acrimonious split in January of 1998, with Snoop saying he feared for his own life because of Knight's gangsta past, his shady finances and Death Row's legal problems. Also contributing to the rapper's decision to exit the label were the departure of his creative partner Dr. Dre and the death of his good friend Tupac Shakur in a drive-by shooting in 1996.
"I definitely feel my life is in danger if I stay in Death Row Records...They don't know how to run a business. That's why their business is gone. There's nothing over there," the Doggfather said at the time.
Lately, Snoop has become something of a family man, spending more time with his wife and two kids and trying to clean up his pot-smoking gangsta image.