Dr Dre has successfully blocked Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene from using his music in any context to do with her political career after she used his 1999 hit Still Dre to soundtrack a promotional video.
In the nearly two-minute video, posted on 9 January with the caption, “It’s time to begin … and they can’t stop what’s coming”, the far-right Georgia lawmaker walks out of her office in slow motion to the familiar first notes of the song, which features Snoop Dogg.
Billboard reports that Greene’s lawyers formally acknowledged a cease-and-desist letter sent by the musician’s lawyer, Howard E King, on 9 January but did not acknowledge any wrongdoing.
“On behalf of Congresswoman Greene, please be advised that no further use of Mr Young’s copyright will be made by a political committee or via social media outlet she controls,” it said.
Lawyers for Greene said that their response should not be perceived as “an admission of any fact or waiver of any rights or defences” – anticipating the possibility that Dre might proceed with a lawsuit against Greene.
King’s original letter accused Greene of “wrongfully exploiting [Still Dre] through the various social media outlets to promote [her] divisive and hateful political agenda”.
It continued: “The United States Copyright Act says a lot of things, but one of the things it says is that you can’t use someone else’s song for your political campaign promotions unless you get permission from the owner of the copyright in the song, a step you failed to take.”
On 10 January, Dre told TMZ: “I don’t license my music to politicians, especially someone as divisive and hateful as this one.”
Greene, a hardline Trump ally who has promoted a number of antisemitic, white supremacist and far-right conspiracy theories, was first elected to Congress in 2020. Consistent with her views, the video begins with a sign reading: “There are two genders, male and female!”
The video was almost immediately removed from Twitter in response to a report from the copyright owner.
Greene’s initial response to its removal, made on Twitter and shared with TMZ, stated: “While I appreciate the creative chord progression, I would never play your words of violence against women and police officers, and your glorification of the thug life and drugs.”