Kanye West Hit With Countersuit Over Early Tracks -11/10/05

The Chicago-based DJ who was hit with a $1.3 million lawsuit filed in August by attorneys representing Kanye West has struck back at West with a countersuit.

West's filing accused Eric "E-Smoove" Miller, who owns Focus Music Group in Richton

Park, Illinois, of attempting to distribute 10 unreleased tracks recorded when West was 18 by using a faux contract on which he'd forged West's signature (see "Kanye West Sues Chicago DJ Over Use Of Early Recordings"). The suit also sought to ban Miller from using West's name or voice in connection with the recordings and their commercial distribution.

Miller's counterclaim alleges that West was working for and with him during the mid-1990s, and the contract he presented to distributors while trying to distribute the cuts the one West's attorneys maintain is forged is legitimate. According to report by The Associated Press, the countersuit, filed two weeks ago in Chicago, asserts that Miller co-wrote the songs including "Ho!!!" and "Stop Frontin' " and that West has no legal claim to their ownership.

Miller's suit seeks approximately $10.5 million. In addition, Miller wants to be able to profit from the songs and release them as an album. West's attorney, Philip Hoffman, told the AP that Miller's countersuit has no merit, as there is no written contract explicitly authorizing his use of West's work or name.