Kanye West and Jay-Z Slapped with Lawsuit over Uncleared Syl Johnson Sample
Published Oct 17, 2011We knew this one was coming. Back in the summer, soul singer Syl Johnson expressed his anger that Kanye West and Jay-Z sampled his song "Different Strokes" for their track "The Joy," which appeared on the deluxe edition of the rappers' recent album Watch the Throne. Now, Johnson has followed up with the inevitable lawsuit.
The songwriter filed the suit on Friday (October 14) in Illinois federal court, Billboard reports. He is charging Ye and Hova of ripping off his song without permission or compensation. The sample was miscredited to reissue label the Numero Group.
To make matters even stickier, it appears that Kanye previously tried to get permission for the sample and, when he was unable to complete the paperwork in time, released the song anyway. As a previous statement from the Numero Group explained, the track was originally recorded for Yeezy's G.O.O.D. Fridays campaign and was intended for last year's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, but the sample wasn't cleared.
Now that the song has been released regardless, this will be considered knowing and willful misappropriation, according to Billboard. Yikes.
Still, it's not as if these two mega-famous rappers are going to be sunk by one little lawsuit. Okay, maybe more than one.