Rap mogul Jay Z may have to call up the best attorney money can buy in light of legal heat coming his way for allegedly jacking a sample for his 2009 Blueprint III anthem “Run This Town.”
Details of the potentially hefty lawsuit bubbled across the Internet this week.
Jay Z is being sued for allegedly sampling Eddie Bo‘s 1969 single Hook and Sling – Part 1 without permission. TufAmerica, the label representing Bo, claims that the sample appears in Jay Z’s 2009 single Run This Town, which also featured Rihanna and co-producer Kanye West. The track featured on Jay Z’s 11th album, The Blueprint 3, and was a No 1 single in the UK. TufAmerica, who have owned the rights to the track since 1996, are seeking proceeds from Run This Town, damages and a court order to halt “further distribution and exploitation” of the song. Bo was a New Orleans pianist whose records incorporated jazz, blues, funk and soul. He died in 2009. The lawsuit, filed in New York, names Jay Z, his label Roc-A-Fella Records and several other companies as defendants. (The Guardian)
Reports claim the label has previously gone after “Run This Town” collaborator Kanye West.
The label has a history of filing sample-related lawsuits. Last year, it sued West for using a sample from the same song on his 2010 record My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. “Hook & Sling Part 1″ allegedly makes appearances in that album’s “Lost in the World” and “Who Will Survive in America?” as well as West’s “Runaway” clip, according to Pitchfork. At the time, TufAmerica claimed that although West’s labels paid a licensing fee, they “failed and refused to enter into written license agreements that accounted for their multiple other uses of [‘Hook and Sling’].” (Rolling Stone)
Def Jam’s iconic group The Beastie Boys even felt the wrath of TufAmerica last year.
The same label also sued the Beastie Boys over a Trouble Funk sample on their albums Licensed to Ill and Paul’s Boutique in May 2012, filing their claim a day before the death of Adam Yauch. The Beastie Boys denied the claim in November and questioned why the label was suing them over records that were two decades old. And in 2011, it filed a claim against Christina Aguilera over alleged use of Dave Cortez and the Moon People‘s 1968 track “Hippy Skippy Moon Strut” on her 2004 song “Aint’ No Other Man.” (Rolling Stone)
No stranger to lawsuits, Young Hov was targeted last summer for allegedly stealing a catchphrase to sell shirts.
Jay Z and Rocawear have no business plastering the phrase “Hood Love” all over t-shirts … so says the pissed off company that owns the phrase and is now suing the pants off Jigga’s clothing label. HoodLove, LLC — a for-profit company dedicated to improving poverty stricken communities — filed the lawsuit against ROC Apparel Group earlier this month … over one specific shirt in the Rocawear line, which reads HoodLove in giant letters. HoodLove says it’s owned the trademark since 2006 — and claims Jay’s company came along and started making a buck … confusing the public, and trading off their good name. It’s not clear how much cash Rocawear’s made off the shirts, but HoodLove is suing for the profits … and also wants the apparel yanked from stores. (TMZ)