Music

Miri Ben Ari, Your 15 Minutes of Fame Are Up.

by Winston "Stone" Ford

Dateh

Paul Dateh – Violin Sampler

I never got Miri Ben Ari. Sure she was attractive. Sure, she could play violin, but honestly her only real true claim to fame is being backup strings for Kanye West and Twista. As much as she wants to claim that she’s the “Hip-Hop Violinist”, the album that bears that namesake failed to showcase what she does best–play violin.

Although it seems she was everywhere a couple of years ago, accompanying Kanye at every awards show and gala even West of the Mississippi. However not much has happened in the world of hip-hop violinists until now.

Yes, that’s right, we have hip-hop violin beef.

Apparently, Ms. Ben Ari and her people don’t like the term hip-hop violinist. Correction: she doesn’t like the term hip-hop violinist used by anyone other than her.

Her lawyers have been going down and trying to remove YouTube videos of anybody who describes themselves as a hip-hop violinist because Mrs. Ben Ari is officially the Hip-Hop Violinist. LA-based violinist Paul Dateh got the worse of it, getting a cease and desist letter and removal of 30 of his videos from YouTube, all for just being a violinist that specializes in hip-hop. Check out this MySpace page…this dude is good. But thanks to the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act), big name acts like Ben Ari have the muscle to take down the little guy, and personally I think that if Dateh had big name backing (er like Kanye West) Ben Ari’s 15 minutes would have been done a long time ago.

Granted, I understand that The Hip Hop Violinist is a trademark, but such trademark should be null and void. Dateh makes a good point–if Kanye trademarked “Hip-Hop Producer,” should he have the right to sue Dr. Dre, Timbaland, Swizz Beatz, and the Dilla estate?

Marinate on that one.


  • http://www.afropunk.com/community/ Michael in LA

    Funny, I thought Regina Carter was the “Hip-Hop” session violinist for a lot of folks, esp RZA.