The heated Yankees-Red Sox rivalry has branched into the rap game. Jay-Z, a diehard Yankees fan who even wore the team’s cap on the cover of Kingdom Come, is suing Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz for allegedly using the name of Jigga’s 40/40 Club chain for his own nightclub in the Dominican Republic without permission. In a lawsuit filed yesterday, Jay accuses Big Papi of naming his Santa Domingo nightclub “Forty-Forty,” a variation of Jay-Z and Juan Perez’s line of 40/40 Clubs in New York, Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
“[Jay-Z and Perez] have accused Ortiz of trading on the fame, value and goodwill of their name through his club Forty/Forty and its website, www.fortyforty.net, which they say has caused their business ‘marketplace confusion and damage,” reads the lawsuit. Jay-Z’s suit goes on to argue that the shared name isn’t accidental, as Ortiz “has been a patron [at the 40/40 Club] on several occasions long before he opened his infringing Forty/Forty Club.”
As Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” all but soundtracked the Yankees’ World Series-winning run last season, it’s no surprise that he might take offense to someone not named Derek Jeter or Alex Rodriguez opening a club with the “40/40” name. The baseball blog Big League Stew points out the “40/40” moniker comes from when a player achieves both 40 home runs and 40 steals in one season. Only four players in history have done it — including current Yank A-Rod — but Big Papi hasn’t come close, managing only 10 steals total over the course of his entire 14-year baseball career. (To Ortiz’s credit, he has hit a Red Sox record 54 home runs in a season, but then why not the “Fifty-Ten Club”?)
No word whether Jay-Z is seeking compensation, a club name change or maybe just an apology from Ortiz for his Game Four, 12th inning, course-of-history-changing walk-off home run against the Yankees in the 2004 playoffs.
On a Jigga side note, the Blueprint 3 rapper will headline tonight’s festivities at the Coachella Festival in Indio, California. Tune into the brand new Rollingstone.com this weekend for our full report.
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