Kendrick Lamar for JET Magazine

11 Musicians That Have Faced Lawsuits Over Songs They Sampled

artists with sample lawsuit

Samples are often used to bring a track to life and make it stand out. Before these sounds and vocals are borrowed, permission is supposed to be given by the original creators. Many of our favorites drop the ball and fail to acquire the proper sampling rights before lacing their songs with these catchy hook and instrumental accents. Once these tracks blow up, the originators come knocking and hurl out million dollar lawsuits. Browse to see 11 rappers and singers who didn’t get away with sampling songs without permission.

All Photos: Getty Images

Drake lawsuit

Back in April, OVO’s own faced a $300,000 lawsuit for not properly attributing the intro of his song “Pound Cake” from his third album, Nothing Was the Same. The lawsuit from the late musician’s estate claims that Drizzy didn’t give props to jazz musician Jimmy Smith for using his “Jimmy Smith Rap,” which was recorded in 1982.

kanye west lawsuit

Yeezy failed to get the permission from singer Ricky Spicer to use his voice on his Yeezus single “Bound 2” which led to him getting hit with a lawsuit. Spicer demanded either getting compensation or that Kanye cease and desist from using his voice. Spicer said he recorded the original vocals on a song called “Bound” in the ‘70s while in group The Ponderosa Twins Plus One and named Ye, Roc-A-Fella Records, Island Def Jam and Rhino Entertainment in his lawsuit.

Jay Z Lawsuit

Last year, Hova was sued by the deceased singer Eddie Bo’s estate for using his voice on the 2009 hit “Run This Town” featuring Rihanna and his (former?) BFF Kanye West. The lawsuit claims that Eddie Bo’s 1969 song “Hook and Sling Part 1” was used for the track without any authorization. This month Jay Z requested that the case be dismissed. After all, the only thing Jay took from the song was the word “Oh.”

Ludacris Lawsuit

In January, David Banner and Ludacris faced a copyright infringement lawsuit for allegedly using a sample from singer Tyrone Davis’ 1979 hit “Be With Me” for the 2010 song “Be With You.” Luda claims that there was no sample used and that the song is entirely original but Davis begged to differ.

frank ocean

In February, Frank Ocean was slapped with a lawsuit from TufAmerica for sampling Mary J. Blige’s hit “Real Love” for his song “Super Rich Kids” for his 2012 album, Channel Orange. The lawsuit also named Universal Music Group and Def Jam in the lawsuit saying that the "Defendants have failed and refused to secure a license from TufAmerica for its share of the rights to use 'Real Love' in “Super Rich Kids.” TufAmerica owns 3.15 percent of “Real Love” in case you were wondering.

carly rae jepsen lawsuit

Singer Carly Rae Jepsen was sued by Ukrainian singer Aza for sampling her Christmas song  “Hunky Santa” for her 2012 hit “Call Me Maybe.” In the lawsuit, Aza claims that Carly Rae ripped off her whole song and just tweaked the lyrics.
Katy Perry Lawsuit

Besides receiving backlash for the "Dark Horse" video, Katy Perry was also hit with a lawsuit from the Gospel rap group Flame. The St. Louis collective, which Christian rapper Lecrae was a part of,  claimed that Perry sampled their song "Joyful Noise" that was released in 2008 without asking.

Biggie Lawsuit

Singer Lee Hutson, who is the former lead singer of  the 70s group The Impressions, sued the estate of the late Notorious B.I.G earlier this year for using a sample from his 1973 song “Can’t Say Enough About Mom” for his Method Man-assisted track “The What.”

50 Cent Lawsuit

Robert Poindexter of 70s singing group The Persuaders filed a lawsuit against 50 Cent in 2012 for using  a sample from the group’s “Love Gonna Pack Up and Walk Out” for his 2009 song “Redrum.” The song was a mixtape titled Wardrum that Fif gave away for free online. Poindexter was demanding that he be paid $600,000 in punitive damages.

Rick Ross lawsuit

In 2013, gospel songwriters Clara Shepperd Warwick and Jimmy Lee Weary  came for the bawse Rick Ross. Allegedly, Rozay sampled a song they wrote for Crowns of  Glory  called “I’m So Grateful (Keep in Touch)” for his 2012 song “3 Kings” from God Forgives, I Don’t. Weary claimed he was not contacted to be asked for permission nor was he compensated. The song also features Dr. Dre and Jay Z, who were also named in the suit.

Kendrick Lamar Lawsuit

Back in July, K. Dot was hit with a lawsuit from Woolfsongs Unlimited, who manages 80s act Eric Woolfson and his band The Aaron Parson Project. They claim that the Compton native used their 1982 track “Old and Wise” for Section.80’s “Keisha’s Song (Her Pain)” without acquiring the proper sampling rights. In September, another lawsuit popped up when musicians Eric Reed and Willie Jones III  sued the good kid for allegedly using their song “The Thorn” for his 2011 track “Rigamortis”also from Section.80. The two said that Lamar used their song “The Thorn” and did not credit them or ask to use their song as a sample. Reed and Jones III are seeking all the rights and profits to “Rigamortis” along with $1 million.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Getty Images

Kush & Splendor: 5 CBD Beauty Products That’ll Take Your Self-Care Routine From 0 To 100

Lotions, creams, and salves—oh my! With cannabidiol (CBD) popping up in just about every product you can imagine, the cannabis-infused beauty industry is clearly on the come-up. In fact, analysts predict that the “wellness” movement—as well as the legalization of Mary Jane across the world—will help rake in $25 billion globally in the next 10 years, according to Business Insider. That’s 15 percent of the $167 billion skincare market.

And what better way to up the ante on one’s wellness routine than with all-natural CBD? Just ask Dr. Lana Butner, naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist at NYC’s Modrn Sanctuary, who incorporates CBD in her treatments.

“CBD is a fantastic addition to acupuncture sessions for both its relaxation and anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving effects,” Butner shares with Vixen. “The calming effects of CBD allows for patients to deeply relax into the treatment and really tap into the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest, digestion and muscle repair/regeneration.”

She adds that CBD’s pain-relieving effects are “far-reaching,” from muscular and joint pains to migraines and arthritis—and even IBS and indigestion.

The magic lies in CBD’s ability to impact endocannabinoid receptor activity in our bodies. Without getting too wordy, our bodies come equipped with a system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is the HBIC over our sleep, appetite, pain and immune system response. Also known as cannabidiol, CBD teams up with this system to help reduce inflammation and interact with neurotransmitters. According to Healthline, CBD has also been scientifically shown to impact the brain’s receptors for serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating our mood and social behavior.

All that said, it’s important to note that not all CBD products are created equal. Many brands cashing in on the green beauty wave use hemp seed oil, sometimes referred to as cannabis sativa seed oil, in place of CBD... which doesn’t make them any less great! Hemp seed oil is actually high in antioxidants, amino acids, and omega-3 and -6 fatty acids—all of which are thebomb.com for your skin.

“It’s generally viewed as a superfood and is great for adding nutritional value to your diet,” Ashley Lewis, co-founder of Fleur Marché, told Well and Good last month. “In terms of skin care, it’s known as a powerful moisturizer and skin softener that doesn’t clog pores or contribute to oily skin.”

However, when companies start marketing CBD and hemp oil as one-in-the-same, that’s when things get a bit tricky.

“The biggest issue is that hemp seed oil and CBD are two totally different compounds that come from different parts of the hemp plant, have different makeups, and different benefits,” Lewis added. “Marketing them as the same thing just isn’t accurate and does a disservice to consumers who are expecting certain benefits that they won’t get from hemp seed oil and who are often paying more for what they think is CBD.”

So if you’re looking to benefit from the perks specifically attributed to CBD, make sure you’re reading labels before buying, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Hell, ask for a product’s test results, while you’re at it. It never hurts to be sure.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, are you ready to see what all the hype is about? For this 4/20, we rounded up a few CBD (and hemp!)-infused products to help give your self-care routine a bit of a boost. Looks like your holiday just got that much kushier. You’re welcome!

Note: Data and regulations surrounding CBD and its use are still in development. That said, please don’t take anything written in this post as medical or legal advice, and definitely double check the laws in your state. Also, please do your body a favor and hit up your doctor before trying any new supplements. We’re just tryna look out for you. Okay? Okay. Read on.

Continue Reading
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Vivica A. Fox Explains Past Hesitance Behind 'Two Can Play That Game' Script

In a new interview with Essence, actress Vivica A. Fox discussed how she initially turned down her role in Two Can Play That Game based on the script. The established entertainer said it's her mission to ensure that black people are positively portrayed onscreen, and noticed the aforementioned film's prose didn't live up to those standards.

"I think the reason why—no I know the reason why—I've been doing this for such a long time is that I fight," Fox said. "When we did Two Can Play That Game, I fought for the way we talked, walked, the way we loved each other." The Set It Off actress continued to state that she consistently declined Two Can Play That Game before signing on to play the lead role. "Because the script, when I first got it, I turned it down three times because it just wasn't a good representation of African-Americans, so I fought them on everything," she noted. "I want to make sure that the images of African-Americans are as positive and as true as they can possibly be."

In 2001, the romantic comedy debuted to fanfare, boasting an all-star cast of Morris Chestnut, Mo'Nique, Anthony Anderson, Bobby Brown, Gabrielle Union, Wendy Raquel Robinson, and more. Directed by Mark Brown (Barbershop, Iverson, How To Be A Player), Fox plays a career driven person named Shante Smith who navigates a curveball when her boyfriend Keith Fenton (Chestnut) cheats on her with a co-worker.

After its release, Two Can Play That Game raked in over $22 million at the box office.

Continue Reading
Actress Gabrielle Union attends the Being Mary Jane premiere, screening, and party on January 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)
Getty Images

BET To Unveil Edible Billboard For 'Being Mary Jane' Wedding Finale

As Being Mary Jane comes to an end, BET is willing to offer fans a taste of what's to come in the series finale.

The network has enlisted the help of Ayesha Curry, celebrity cook and cookbook author, to create an edible billboard that also doubles as a wedding cake. The sweet treat will commemorate Mary Jane's (played by Gabrielle Union) nuptials in the two-hour series finale.

On April 20 from 1:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. at Brooklyn's Atlantic Terminal in New York, fans will be presented with the edible billboard. At the intersection of Ashland Place and Hanson Place, the closer Being Mary Jane enthusiasts get to the billboard the quicker they'll notice that the four-tiered wedding cake is created from individual boxes, each containing a slice of Curry's prized wedding cake.

All fans have to do is pull a box from the billboard, snap a picture for the 'Gram, take a bite and enjoy. Although lovers of the show won't be able to celebrate with Mary Jane herself, biting into a slice of her wedding cake, for free, is the next best thing.

Don't forget to tune into the series finale of Being Mary Jane on Tues. (April 23) at 8/7 c.

Also, check out what's to come on the series of Being Mary Jane below.

Save the date! 👰🏾It'll be worth the wait. Join us for the series finale of #BeingMaryJane TUES APR 23 8/7c only on @BET! pic.twitter.com/jEwkbC71OW

— #BeingMaryJane (@beingmaryjane) March 29, 2019

Continue Reading

Top Stories