Published Jul 09, 2010Rappers and DJs have been using samples for a good 30 years, but the practice still falls into a legal grey zone. Now, Snoop Dogg may have to pay the price for using an unlicensed sample, as former Miles Davis/Stevie Wonder bassist Michael Henderson is suing the rapper for illegally using his song "Riding."
The track initially appeared on Henderson's 1979 album, Do It All. Snoop Dogg sampled the song's opening verse on his track "Hands on the Wheel," which was used to boost ticket sales for his West Fest tour in June 2008, AllHipHop reports.
To make matters worse, Snoop Dogg actually used the same sample twice: he also used it on the track "Flashbacks," featuring hip-hop crew the Warzone. It was released on a mixtape to promote Snoop's album, Ego Trippin', which came out in March 2008.
Because Snoop Dogg used the sample for self-promotion, Henderson is claiming in a lawsuit filed Tuesday (July 6) in Michigan that he should be paid. As a result, he has sued almost everyone involved: Snoop Dogg, all three members of Warzone (Goldie Loc, Kam and MC Eiht), Doggy Style Records and Universal Music.
The Hollywood Reporter writes that Henderson has filed a separate lawsuit against rappers Murs and 9th Wonder, who also sampled his work without permission. He is claiming damages, as well as any profits made from the songs. If you're a fan of dense legal documents, The Hollywood Reporter has a copy of the 13-page complaint here.