Fri | Nov 27, 2020

Tuff Gong, Marley's Mum On Skill Cole Lawsuit

Published:Tuesday | September 20, 2016 | 12:00 AMShereita Grizzle
Bob Marley
Allan 'Skill' Cole

The Marley family and Tuff Gong Music are yet to release a statement addressing the lawsuit being filed against the latter by Allan 'Skill' Cole, one-time manager of the late reggae icon, Bob Marley.

Amid reports in several international media outlets that Cole has filed a lawsuit against Tuff Gong and Island Def Jam Group (a division of Universal Music) for infringing on his rights as co-writer of two of Marley's famous songs, The Gleaner sought to get a comment from the family on the matter, but no response has been forthcoming, despite phone calls and emails sent.

News about the lawsuit first broke on the weekend after Billboard and the Hollywood Reporter both released stories stating that Cole had filed a lawsuit in the Pennsylvania federal court after recently discovering that he does not own the copyrights to the songs War and Natty Dread, which he claims to have co-written.




According to the reports, Cole hired a lawyer back in May to help him transfer one half of his interest in War, to the family of former Ethiopian Emperor, Haile Selassie, when he found out that Tuff Gong Music holds the copyright.

"[Cole] was led to believe that the songs were being copyrighted for him by the record company," states the complaint. "[Cole] was never employed by Tuff Gong Music."

The song War is an interpretation of Haile Selassie's 1936 speech to the League of Nations.

Allan 'Skill' Cole and Bob Marley were very close friends. In an article published in The Gleaner in March 2016, Cole described their relationship in detail, saying that it was music and football that brought them together.

"He (Bob) loved football and I loved music. It was part of a divine plan. That's how we came together," he said.

The association between the two deepened and the pair began working on songs together. It is reported that Cole wrote Marley's hit, Rat Race, and co-wrote with him on Natty Dread and Johnny Was. Cole was also Marley's manager at one point. Songs that were recorded under Cole's management included Guava Jelly, Craven Choke Puppy, Concrete Jungle, Lick Samba, Lively Up Yourself, Redder Than Red, Belly full but them Hungry, Natty Dread, and Screwface.