Post Malone sued by songwriter over ‘Circles’ contribution

Post Malone is fighting a lawsuit against songwriter who claims they’re owed money and credits for their contribution to his 2019 hit, Circles.

Hip hop artist Post Malone has been locked in an ongoing dispute with Canadian songwriter, Tyler Arms, who claims he is owed co-producer and co-writer credits, in addition to possible royalties and other payments, for his alleged contribution to the famed 2019 track, Circles.

This has been met with heavy backlash by Malone and his team, who argue that Tyler contributed nothing original to the tune, but rather, “an admittedly extremely commonplace guitar chord progression,” and at most, a “fragment of a guitar melody that Armes claims he sung to Post.”

Credit: Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP

The federal suit was first launched in California, in April of 2020, against Post, his producer Frank Dukes, and Universal Music Group. In less than 24 hours, the global hip hop star responded with a counter-suit; requesting a New York Federal Judge to rule that Armes had no participation in writing the song and therefore cannot claim any rights to it.

“It is an age-old story in the music business that when a song earns the type of runaway success that ‘Circles’ has garnered, and individuals will come out of the woodwork falsely claim to take credit for the song, and demand unwarranted and unearned windfall profits from the song,” reads Malone’s complaint.

Credit: Nina Westervelt for The New York Times

However, despite Post’s adamant stance on Tyler’s lack of original contribution, the case has now developed into a two-year-long legal battle between the rapper and Canadian artist.

In an effort to settle it once and for all, recent reports declare that Post has filed yet another complaint regarding the dispute, stating that “Armes does not have a shred of affirmative evidence with which to meet his burden of proof that his alleged contribution to the guitar melody is original.” 

Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for DCP

For this reason, he’s requested the judge drop the lawsuit, and for Arms to finally admit that he’s in fact “not a joint author” of Circles.

Of course, Armes and his lawyer vehemently refute this and tell a completely different version of events. They claim Tyler was initially offered five per cent of the song’s royalties for his work. However, this offer was allegedly revoked after he tried to negotiate a larger cut.

Credit: Amy Sussman/BBMA2020/Getty Images for DCP

“We believe that the motion for summary judgment is a desperate attempt by Post Malone and Frank Dukes to try to avoid a trial in this action,” said Armes’ lawyer, Allison Hart, to Rolling Stone. “We are confident that we will prevail in defeating the motion and look forward to going before a jury.”

Hot on the heels of Dua Lipa’s recent lawsuit headlines, it seems the music industry is laden with legal battles at the moment. We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for updates on these cases.