Ice Cube has a message for Robinhood: “Check Yo Self.”
The rapper-turned-actor filed a scorched-earth lawsuit this week accusing the stock-trading app of tarnishing his reputation in an act of “transparent retribution.”
Robinhood incited Ice Cube’s rage by using what appears to be a photo from his 2007 comedy film “Are We Done Yet?” in the March 8 edition of its financial newsletter, “Robinhood Snacks.”
The image showing Ice Cube giving a puzzled look while standing next to co-star John C. McGinley is captioned “Correct yourself, before you wreck yourself,” an apparent play on the rapper’s hit song “Check Yo Self.”
The celebrity born O’Shea Jackson claims Robinhood wanted to “punish” him because his business partner, Jeff Kwatinetz, is involved in a lawsuit against the Silicon Valley darling over its decision to block users from trading GameStop and other popular stocks in January.
Robinhood — led by CEO Vlad Tenev, whom the complaint refers to as “the Stock Impaler” — did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.
But the company says it had permission to use Ice Cube’s image.
“The image was licensed and used for non-commercial, editorial purposes in connection with a blog article,” Robinhood spokesperson Lavinia Chirico said in a statement
Kwatinetz’s class-action case is one of several suits Robinhood is facing over the market frenzy led by rookie investors on Reddit’s WallStreetBets forum.
“Although Ice Cube has no involvement in that lawsuit, Defendants’ resulting actions speak volumes about their petty, vindictive, and malicious nature,” the “It Was a Good Day” artist’s complaint says.
In his lawsuit accusing Robinhood of trademark infringement, Ice Cube says the startup’s use of the photo and a variation on his signature catchphrase creates the false impression that he endorses its “horrible products and services — the last things in the world to which Ice Cube would ever attach his image and likeness.”
“Robinhood has picked on the wrong man this time,” reads the complaint filed Wednesday in California federal court.
“In short, just as Robinhood’s recent well-known conduct has resulted in Congressional investigations and numerous class action lawsuits, so too has it stolen and diminished the hard-earned image and brand of Ice Cube, one of the most prominent Black voices in America.”
Ice Cube’s suit also makes note of Robinhood’s previous corporate woes, including the numerous outages its trading platform suffered last year and the $65 million settlement it reached with the Securities and Exchange Commission in December.