Copyright Infringement:
Keisha Ervin vs. Wahida Clark

by Seth "Soul Man" Ferranti
Urban Book Source
February 2007


They say imitation is the biggest form of flattery but sometimes it can go too far. And when the line is crossed then the parties involved must decide what to do and what route to take. In music, movies and the entertainment industry stealing or copying someone’s ideas, works, words, or music can lead to lawsuits and copyright disputes and when the truth comes out it can be detrimental to people’s careers. It is a serious matter and in the writing/book world it is called plagiarism.

Plagiarism is big news. Think how many journalists and/or writers have been burned and lost their livelihoods in the past couple of years after being exposed as plagiarists. The Harvard girl, Kaavya Viswanathan was making big moves before it was exposed that her bestselling book contained many similarities and passages from other books that she admitted were her favorites and that she said she had read three or four times each. But things never seem real until they hit home. And hit home they have. We are sad to report that plagiarism exists in the urban fiction worlds as well. Let Essence bestselling author and street lit OG Wahida Clark explain.

“Last month, a fan of mine came to me and held up the book Hold U Down by Keisha Ervin. My fan was outraged. She told me ‘Wahida, this girl is straight up copying your shit. She even uses your character’s names,’” Wahida says. “At the time I was working on the second draft of Thug Matrimony (the third book in her Thug series) so I told her I’d check it out as soon as I could. Afterwards several other people approached me saying the same thing about the book. I finally read the book and needless to say I was shocked.” And shocked Wahida should be. Hold U Down which was published by Triple Crown had similarities and scenes taken from the two books that represented Wahida’s Thug series (Every Thug Needs a Lady and Thugs and the Women Who Love Them) and her 2006 release Payback is a Mutha, all Essence bestsellers and trendsetters in the urban fiction genre.

“To make matters worse I have an email from Ms. Ervin where she informed me that she was a fan, loved my work and had read both of my books over twenty times and had practically memorized them,” Wahida says. And Triple Crown the publisher of Hold U Down has a live chat site where Wahida’s book Every Thug Needs a Lady has its own page. By scrolling down the chat line pages you can see that Ms. Ervin is a frequent visitor.

“I don’t know if this girl is consciously and intentionally plagiarized my work,” Wahida says. “But it sure looks like it.” And the evidence paints a bad picture for Triple Crown and Ms. Ervin as there are clear copyright infringements. There are several scenes, conversation and attitudes which Ms. Ervin infringed upon. In Every Thug Needs a Lady the main male characters are Trae Macklin and Kaylin Santos. Ms. Ervin uses Kaylin McClain.

That is just one of the few generalities. Hopefully the publisher Triple Crown will do the right thing and pull the book Hold U Down from shelves just like the big publishers do when their integrity is questioned. We will see.

Throughout the entire length of both novels there are similarities, below are just a few of the specifics, judge for yourself.

HOLD U DOWN / EVERY THUG NEEDS A LADY

Pg. 29 HUD: While getting familiar with each other Kaylin/Biggs and Unique are at the bar. “Why you keep staring at me?”
Pg. 47: ETNL: Trae and Tasha are in the Navigator on the way to NY and have the same conversation. “Why you keep staring at me?”

Pg. 29 HUD: Kaylin/Biggs steps up behind her, wraps arms around her waist she laughed feeling his dick in between her ass cheeks.
Pg. 27 ETNL: She was trying ton concentrate on the phone call but Trae’s hard dick was feeling good as it pressed up against her butt.

Pg. 49 HUD: “What’s your real name?” “It’s Kaylin.” “Kay…lin. I like that.”
Pg. 78 ETNL: “What does the K stand for?” “Kaylin.” “Kaylin,” she repeated. “I like that.”

Pg. 60 HUD: Out of nowhere rain began pouring down…I got on these heels. “Unique whined looking down at her satin Prada kitten heels. “I got you.”…”What are you going to do?” “Just slip off your shoes and put then in the bag. I’m gonna carry you back.”
Pg. 162 ETNL: “Look how hard it’s raining …” “What am I going to do about my shoes, Kay? I can’t…” “Take them off and put them in your purse. I’ll carry you to the car.”

Pg. 86 HUD: Kaylin/Biggs gets a R&B singer to serenade Unique.
Pg. 80 ETNL: Trae gets R&B singer to serenade Tasha over the phone.

Pg. 87-88 HUD: Kaylin/Biggs are Unique are in bed when the phone rings. It’s Brittany. They have and argument about who Brittany is , why she is calling, the trust issues.
Pg. 245-249 ETNL: Kaylin and Angel are lying in bed when Brittany calls. They argue about who Brittany is, why she is calling, etc.

Pg.92-93 HUD: Kaylin/Biggs has a record label.
Pg. ETNL: Kaylin has a record label.

Pg. 103 HUD: After they have a big falling out. Kaylin/Biggs pulls Unique onto his lap and tells her to don’t let the bullshit…Unique took his face into her hands.
Pgs 85-86 ETNL: After they have a big fallout, Trae lifts Tasha up, place her onto his lap…its all bullshit. “She (Tasha) turned around and grabbed his face.”

Pg. 103 HUD: Unique warns Kaylin/Biggs to don’t let her catch him with that bitch Brittany again.
Pg. 246 ETNL: Angels warns Kaylin that she better not catch him and Brittany in the same room.

Pgs. 107-108 HUD: Unique serves him a meal in bed. She jumps in bed and sat Indian style in front of him. They discuss her becoming his wife.
Pg. ETNL: Tasha serves Trae while he is bed. She sits on the loveseat across from him and watches him eat.
Pg. 99 ETNL: Same scene and Trae discusses Tasha being his wife.
Pg. 105 ETNL: “You ready to be my wife?”

Pgs. 118-119 HUD: Unique and Kaylin/Biggs are out on the town. They introduce Unique’s best friend Zoe to Legend. Zoe is the aggressor and pushes up on Kaylin. He makes her put her number into his cell phone.
Pgs. 77-79 ETNL: Tasha and Trae are out on the town. They introduce Tasha’s best friend Angel to Kaylin. Angel is the aggressor and pushes up on Kaylin. He makes her put her number into his cell phone.

Pg. 127 HUD: Zoe’s first time at Legend’s crib has the soft music playing. Champagne. The fruit and she gets a foot massage.
Pgs. 165 and 171: ETNL: Angel’s first time at Kaylin’s crib has soft music playing. Fruit, Cristal and on pg. 171 same scene she gets a shoulder massage.

Pg. 146 HUD: Zoe is waiting on Legend with plans on telling him to return her keys, its over so leave. When he arrives she tells him just that. He ignores her and they argue and make up.
Pgs. 84-85 ETNL: Tasha is waiting on Trae with plans on telling him to return her keys, its over, so leave. When he arrives she says just that. He ignores her and they argue and make up.

Pg. 148 HUD: While sexing Zoe tells Legend. “Wait, wait baby. I can’t cum again, yet.” She moaned trying to pull herself together.
Pg. 173 ETNL: While sexing Angel says. “Kay. I can’t come again.” She said trying to catch her breath.

Pg. 174 HUD: Kaylin/Biggs brought her a Lexus truck for her birthday.
Pg. 165 ETNL: Angel and Kaylin are listening to a song by Mary J. Blige.

Pgs. 174-175 HUD: Patience and Zoe is all excited telling Unique to turn on the news to see about her man, Kaylin/Biggs. Unique tells Zoe to call Legend, Kaylin/Biggs homeboy on her cell phone. Zoe tries but gets no answer.
Pg. 82 ETNL: Angel calls Tasha to see if she caught the news about Trae and Kayin. Tasha tells Angel to call Kaylin’s cell phone. Angel said she didn’t have the number.

Pg. 183 HUD: Kaylin/Biggs pulls his gun from his waist and uses it to give a beatdown to Unique’s ex, Tone. He threatens to kill him, but his boy Chris tell him, “Don’t do this shit here.” He pulls him off. They all then proceed to stomp Tone.
Pg. 202 ETNL: Trae was giving Tasha’s ex, Nikayiah a beatdown. He then pulls out his gat and cocks it. Kaylin his homeboy snatches it, empties it and says, “not here man!” Trae then proceeds to stomp him in the head. Kaylin warns him again, “not here!”

Pgs. 189-190 HUD: After Unique and Kaylin/Biggs falls out and is not speaking she goes to his house and waits for him. He grabs the pillows off the bed and goes to sleep on the couch. He pulls the covers over his head. She pulls the covers off his face. He tells her that he is still mad at her and pulls the covers back over his face.
Pgs. 114-115 ETNL: Trae had been mad at Tasha and barely speaking to her. He comes over in the middle of the night. Grabs a pillow and a blanket off the bed and heads for the couch. Tasha follows him and the covers are pulled over his head. She yanks them off. He covers his head back up and tells her to wake him up at 7.

Pgs. 192-193 HUD: Unique, Zoe and the rest of the crew are out on the town looking for their men. Unique spots Kaylin/Biggs and Zoe is wondering if Legend is around. They spot Kaylin/Biggs with chickenhead up in his face and Unique is ready to jump out the car and fight. She approaches them. Zoe spots Legend and she goes to him.
Pgs. 135-136 ETNL: Same party scene. Tasha, Angel and the girls are out on the town. Tasha spots Trae’s Navigator tells them to pull over. She jumps out ready for whatever and goes and finds him. Angel spots Kaylin moving through the crowd searching for her. Shanna is told that her man is inside the club and three chickenheads are posted up. She jumps out the car as well.

Pg. 194 HUD: Unique walks up on Kaylin/Biggs talking to the chickenhead. He tells her he is engaged. The chick gets smart and says, “that don’t stop nothing.” He tells her to take her ass across the street. Then he asks Unique. “What yo’ hot ass doing here?”
Pg. 138 ETNL: Tasha spots Trae in the back shooting craps. He turns to the chickenheads posted up and says. “I told ya’ll already had my own “Preaches and Cream”. One of the chicks smirks. “And?” Tasha butts in and says, “And take your ass someplace else. He’s taken.” Trae asks. “Where do you think you’re going?”

Pgs. 197-198 HUD: While Zoe and Legend are sexing, the cell rings, it’s a female. They don’t stop sexing. As he is talking she is gripping his dick with her pussy. He accuses her of playing while sexing, flips her over and hits it from the back.
Pgs. 101-104 ETNL: Tasha spots Trae in the back shooting craps. He turns to the chickenheads posted up and says, “I told ya’ll I already had my own ‘Peaches and Cream.’ One of the chicks smirks, “And?” Tashe butts in and says “And take your ass someplace else, he’s taken.” Trae asks, “Where do you think you’re going?”

Pg. 218 HUD: At Kaylin/Biggs party. Unique gives him a lap dance. Kaylin/Bigg tries to kiss her and she slaps his hands away and says. “Don’t touch.” By the end of the song, his pockets were empty and she has over $2000.
Pgs. 123-124 ETNL: Tasha and Trae are at the Club. She gives him a lap dance. He tries to grab her lips. She says. Don’t touch Trae and smacks his hands. By the end of the song his pockets are empty and she made $1800.

Pgs. 245-246 HUD: After Kaylin/Biggs gets locked up. His boy Nasheed tries to push up on Unique. He stroked her hair. Tries to get his mack on. He gives her his card with his number on it.
Pgs. 271-273 ETNL: After Trae got locked up, his boy Jaden tries to push up on Tasha. He massages the nape as he continues to get his mack on. Gives her his card with his number on it.

Pg. 261 HUD: Unique goes and visits Kaylin/Biggs in jail. He takes her in his arms for a hug. The guard yells. “That’s enough McClain.”
Pg. 284 ETNL: Tasha goes and visits Trae in jail. He grabs her and hugs her. The guard yell, “Macklin! Use the chairs.”

Pg. 262 HUD: Unique is visiting Kaylin/Biggs in jail. She tells him that his boy. Nasheed came onto her. He swears that the nigga is dead.
Pg. 314 ETNL: Kaylin tells Trae that he heard he had to make an example out of punk ass Jaden. Trae tells him yeah he disrespects him. No one fucks with his woman, his business or his paper (death for Jaden was the end resulgt of Tasha telling Trae that he came onto her).

Pg. 277 HUD: Kaylin/Biggs got shot. Unique was crying, “you promised. You said you would never leave me. What about the baby? I can’t do this without you. I need you.”
Pgs. 256-257 ETNL: Trae is going on his final dope run. Tasha is crying. “You promised me, don’t do this to me. You said you wouldn’t leave me. You promised you wouldn’t do this to me. “What about our baby? You promised. Trae what am I going to do without you?

HOLD U DOWN / THUGS AND THE WOMEN WHO LOVE THEM

Pg. 93 HUD: Kaylin/Biggs wants to take care of Unique. Unique is stealing cars. She goes to the club purposely to apologize for the fight they had. She spots him with some chick.
Pgs. 207-208 TWWLT: Faheem wanted to take care of Jaz. She is manufacturing meth on the side. She goes to the party, her whole purpose it to apologize for the lies she has been hiding. She spots him with some chick.

Pg. 104 HUD: Identical sex scene.
Pgs. 166-167 TWWLT: Identical sex scene.

Pg. 148 HUD: While sexing, Legend tells Zoe, “Gon; and get that shit off, boo.”
Pgs. 214-215 TWWLT: While sexing, Faheem tells Jaz, “Get your shit off.”

Pg. 191 HUD: Kaylin/Biggs was mad at Unique and she couldn’t stand the silent treatment that he was giving her.
Pg. 185 TWWLT: Faheem was mad at Jaz. When she couldn’t take Faheem’s silence anymore, she tried to contact him.
Pg. 190 TWWLT: “I can’t believe that it’s close to a month now since Faheem has been giving me the silent treatment.

Pg. 284 HUD: Unique drugged/poisoned Nasheed in his drink.
Pg. 56-58 TWWLT: Big Nell/drugged poisoned Snake in his food.

HOLD U DOWN / PAYBACK IS A MUTHA

Pg. 276 HUD: Kaylin/Biggs gets shot. Bloody body falls on top of Unique.
Pg. 97 PBAM: Briggen gets shot. Bloody body falls on top Shan same scene.

Related features/articles:
Wahida Clark: Video Exclusive
Wahida Clark Interview with Jarold Imes
Keisha Ervin Interview


Seth Ferranti is a contributing writer for The Urban Book Source and accomplished journalist having written articles for Don Diva, Slam, King, Feds and many more. View more of his articles at: www.gorillaconvict.com


Comments page 7 of 7:
Click Here to Add a Comment
Lee'Lucas :
Posted 527 days ago
I think all this is bullshit!!...I've read both the books plenty of times nd I've NEVER noticed the "same lines && plots". Matter of fact if I wouldn't hve read this and seen it in black and white I would've never known!! And I'm saying all this to say..both books are great!! And YES!! Very similar...but the story lines cause yu to not even realize that it's been done!! So whoever has time to sit down and do research on two 200+ pages is obviously a bum and shit starter!!! Plus ms.Ervin paid homage to ms.clark so that makes it even better!! I will continue to read both their works!!
Banrion :
Posted 697 days ago
It's a wonder this doesn't hapen more often. With so many people writing about such a small minded world it's not a surprise. Of course all the characters in urban fiction sound and look alike. I bet they all have remy lace fronts and and a Tiffany necklace and a Louis V bag slung over their shoulders while driving a LexedesMWorche somewhere. There's no originality and 20% of these books are dedicated to the listing of one brand name after the other.
Can you tell I'm disgusted?
 




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