George Clinton Sues the Black Eyed Peas for Copyright Infringement
Published Dec 13, 2010If the news that the Black Eyed Peas are being slapped with a copyright infringement lawsuit sounds a little familiar, it's not just your imagination. Back in October, the hip-hop crew were sued by two different artists, both of whom alleged that the group stole their songs. Now, the Black Eyed Peas have been accused of copyright infringement yet again, this time by funk master George Clinton.
The recording in question is a remix of the band's 2003 hit "Shut Up." The remix, entitled "Shut the Phunk Up," appeared as a bonus track on the deluxe edition of 2009's The E.N.D., as well as on the DVD Live From Sydney to Vegas. The remix prominently features a sample of Funkadelic's "(Not Just) Knee Deep," which copyright holder Clinton says was taken without permission.
According to AllHipHop, the Black Eyed Peas' producers approached Clinton last year about clearing the sample. The remix had apparently already been unveiled, although Clinton was not yet aware of its existence. A legal battle ensued, and Clinton's signature was allegedly forged when he refused to clear the track.
"(Not Just) Knee Deep" appeared on the 1979 album Uncle Jam Wants You. A radio edit was released as a single, reaching the top of the U.S. R&B charts. It has since been sampled by numerous artists including De La Soul, LL Cool J, 2Pac, MC Hammer, Snoop Dogg and more.
The lawsuit was filed in California and is reportedly worth millions. You can compare the two tracks below.