Bus driver claims he's owned royalties for Tupac classic Dear Mama

A bus driver has claimed he's owed royalties for his work on Tupac's 'Dear Mama'.

New York City bus driver and musician Terrence Thomas, who used to produce and DJ under the moniker Master Tee, has filed a lawsuit alleging he had a significant role in the creation of the late hip hop legend's iconic 1995 track, which featured on his third album 'Me Against The World'.

As reported by Music Business Worldwide, Thomas - who was credited as a co-producer on the song - has claimed he was "never properly and fully credited for his publishing copyright".

In the lawsuit, he cites interviews with the rapper himself, as well as handwritten credits he wrote which named him as the creator of the original beat.

He also alleged that Interscope, the label's parent company Universal Music Group and producer Tony D. Pizarro "conspired" to diminish his role in order to stop him earning royalties as a co-writer.

The lawsuit claims: "A self-serving group, led by an upstart music producer, Tony D. Pizarro, conspired with executives at Interscope Records and Universal Music Group (UMG), misappropriated Master Tee’s publishing copyright and master recording copyright and assumed the identity of writer/publisher of Dear Mama’s music."

The song itself is one of only three hip hop tracks to be recognised in the Library of Congress registry, with the organisation describing it as "a moving and eloquent homage to both the murdered rapper’s own mother and all mothers struggling to maintain a family in the face of addiction, poverty and societal indifference".

The lawsuit also targets Warner Bros, Fox, Hulu, Disney and NBC regarding the five-part documentary series 'Dear Mama', which dropped earlier this year and focused on the relationship between Tupac and his mother Afeni Shakur.

The lawsuit does note that the version he and Tupac recorded in 1993 wasn't the version that was released in 1995, but he claims Pizarro did use the original to create the latter.

Thomas is seeking "proper credit" on the track as producer, co-writer, and co-publisher, plus “compensation for his contributions to the song".