Peter Pankey better known as “Peter Gunz” is an american hip hop artist from the Bronx, New York who garnered much success in the 1990’s era of rap. In 1998 Peter released a joint album with fellow Bronx native Sean Hamilton “Lord Tariq” and the duo’s lead single “Deja Vu (Uptown Baby)” quickly became a fan favorite. Climbing the Billboard Hot 100 peaking at #9, earning a platinum record, and grossing over one million dollars in sales, the Bronx rappers financial future seemed promising.
However, it turned out that the highly favored hit with it’s old school vibe and catchy hook owed much of its success due to using a sample of Steely Dan’s “Black Cow” . A sample that was used without going through the proper legal channels to secure Steely’s permission. This led to Steely taking legal action for copyright infringement which he was awarded a six figure settlement ($105,000). Peter and Tariq lost all of their publishing rights and 90% of royalties for the song which were awarded to Steely.
Peter Gunz and Lord Tariq’s fame was short lived following the lawsuit. The group was dismantled and no other albums were released. Their hit song Deja Vu continues to live on earning them respect from hip hop fans, while Steely Dan continues to collect big checks from royalties.