Beyoncé and Big Freedia. Image: Instagram via @BigFreedia

Beyoncé and Big Freedia. Image: Instagram via @BigFreedia

Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and Big Freedia embroiled in copyright controversy

Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and Big Freedia are facing a legal battle over alleged copyright infringement, triggered by a lawsuit from ‘Da Showstoppaz.’

Beyoncé and Big Freedia. Image: Instagram via @BigFreedia

Beyoncé and Big Freedia. Image: Instagram via @BigFreedia

Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and Big Freedia find themselves entangled in a legal skirmish over alleged copyright infringement. This adds a twist to the rhythm of the music world.

The trio faces accusations from a former New Orleans-based group, Da Showstoppaz, who claim their phrase “release a wiggle” was unlawfully borrowed.

The federal copyright lawsuit was filed on 22 May in the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Da Showstoppaz members Tessa Avie, Keva Bourgeois, Henri Braggs, and Brian Clark assert that Big Freedia utilised their three-word phrase without permission in her 2014 track Explode.

According to the complaint, Explode purportedly infringes on Da Showstoppaz’s 2002 single Release A Wiggle, according to USAToday.


This was featured on a mixtape distributed by BlackHouse Entertainment, according to The Guardian.

The lawsuit contends that the phrase “release yo’ wiggle” and similar iterations appear prominently in Explode. This spread across its intense two-minute and forty-seven-second duration.

The plaintiffs argue, “Any reasonable person listening to Release A Wiggle and Explode would conclude that the songs are substantially similar.”

The legal entanglement further deepens as Beyoncé, through her smash hit Break My Soul from the 2022 album Renaissance, sampled Big Freedia’s Explode.


Consequently, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and other credited individuals and entities associated with the album find themselves embroiled in the dispute.

Da Showstoppaz asserts their copyright over the distinctive lyrics and musical composition of Release A Wiggle.

They allege that Big Freedia accessed their work, which Beyoncé subsequently sampled, according to Rolling Stone.

Thus, they contend that Big Freedia’s alleged replication of Release A Wiggle in Explode constitutes copyright infringement.

The plaintiffs seek recognition on both Explode and Break My Soul, along with royalties for future uses of the songs.

Additionally, they demand damages corresponding to the profits generated by Big Freedia and Beyoncé from the songs. This also includes associated tours and the film Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé.

As the legal saga unfolds, all eyes are on Beyoncé’s camp for their response to the allegations.

In the vibrant tapestry of the music industry, disputes over intellectual property are not uncommon.


However, the intertwining narratives of creativity, inspiration, and ownership often add layers of complexity to such legal battles.

The outcome will not only shape the future of these songs but also set a precedent for how artists navigate the delicate balance between homage and infringement.

In a realm where every note and lyric carries the potential for artistic expression and legal contention, the saga of Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Big Freedia, and Da Showstoppaz serves as a reminder of the intricate dance between inspiration and originality in the world of music.