Eruption Over Philly Band

A self-proclaimed gay hip-hop group called V.I.P. recently got a cease & desist letter from Van Halen‘s attorneys, claiming the rappers misappropriated VH’s famous logo.

V.I.P. released its first EP, Mad Coke, on Philadelphia’s Collision/Collider Records. The logo on the front cover apparently looked a little too much likeVan Halen’s; soon the gay rappers got a letter in the mail from a law firm claiming misappropriation of commercial identity and unfair competition.

The band has supposedly complied with the request, but also released a statement questioning the C&D.

“We didn’t think it looked more like Van Halen than any other ’80s glam group,” band member Andrew Ryan said. “We wouldn’t be getting sued if the first letter wasn’t a ‘V.'”

Ryan told the Philadelphia Daily News the threat of legal action was “just a pain in the ass” after pressing 1,000 CDs and 500 LPs. He said the band would stop using the logo and had taken it down from the its Web site. Ryan added he would cover up the logo on the remaining CDs.

Still, he felt it may have been less of an issue “if we weren’t a gay hip-hop group.”

VH’s camp had no comment.