May, who sings under the stage name Flourgon, sued Cyrus in a federal court in New York, according to The Blast. The suit claims cites May's 1988 song, making the case that it was big hit, with a wide audience and considerable sales in the U.S. and across the Caribbean region.
May's "We Run Things" has the refrain "We run things, things no run we," which he claims Cyrus knowingly stole in her song when she says "We run things, things don't run we." May also claims that their songs share the same general themes, calling both of them anthems of “defiant audaciousness in the realm of self-discovery and self-governance.”
The suit goes on to claim that "We Can't Stop" came at a time when Cyrus was trying to reinvent herself as "edgy," and that her album Bangerz is filled with traces of urban and Caribbean sound.
“Cyrus exchanged her trademark ‘good girl’ Disney profile for a gritty and hyper-sexualized image, quite often brazenly and defiantly invoking provocative and obscene statements, lyrics and dress and personal vocalizations to reflect the grittiness, aggression and sultriness associated with U.S. based hip-hop, R&B, urban and Caribbean music,” the lawsuit reads.
May's suit asks for an injunction to prohibit Cyrus from continuing to sell the track. He also requests damages for the infringement, which haven't yet been specified.
"We Can't Stop" came out in 2013 as the first single of Cyrus's hip-hop inspired album. Since then, the singer has already returned for the most part to her country-pop roots, adopting a chic rural style and stopping her promiscuous antics.
Cyrus even mocked her own music video on SNL, filming a parody where she plays Representative Michele Bachmann during the 2013 U.S. Government shut down.