E-40 in the official video for his 1993 rap song, ‘Captain Save a Hoe’ (left), author Erika Kane’s cover for her book of the same name (right); Photo: YouTube/Amazon

In November Earl Stevens (a.k.a. E-40) filed a lawsuit against author Erika Kane after she released the book, Captain Save a Hoe, on October 3rd.

Lawyers on behalf of Stevens claimed that E-40 owns the rights to the expression “Captain Save a Hoe” and that the book is profiting off the classic hit song. As evidence Stevens’ lawyers cited Urban Dictionary’s top definition.

The definition explains that the concept is, “Derived from a 1993 rap song by rapper E-40 about the adventures of a Financial savior to underprivileged inner city hood rats.”

According to Billboard, Kane has now filed a countersuit, claiming that the two ideas have different consumer bases. Vodka & Milk Publishing’s attorney, Corey Boddie told Billboard, “My client’s consumer has absolutely nothing to do with [E-40’s] consumers.”

In addition to having different consumers, Boddie also points to other instances where the “captain save a hoe” expression was used but E-40 chose not to file suit. They also claim that E-40 hasn’t lost any revenue.

The countersuit is seeking damages claiming that Amazon removed the book from its site, which caused a breach of contract. The audio and Kindle versions are still listed.

E-40’s lawyer Michael P. Martin says the counterclaim “lacks merit.” “In addition to his rights in the composition, song title and lyrics, E-40 holds senior trademark rights to the mark ‘Captain Save a Hoe’ for clothing as well as an entertainment series that he is developing,” Martin told Billboard. “The series of books published by Defendant infringes upon these rights because books and entertainment series, regardless of the medium, are related properties.”

Captain Save a Hoe” is one of E-40’s most recognizable songs. It hit No. 94 on the Hot 100 and No. 63 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts in 1994. Who’ll come out in the end is anybody’s guess. But one thing is for sure, the fight for the “Captain Save a Hoe” expression is about to get ugly.