Songwriter sues Kanye West and Jay-Z

2011-10-18 08:33

Los Angeles – Kanye West and Jay-Z have hit a bum note with one songwriter who claims they lifted his material without permission.

The two hip-hop moguls are being sued by musician Syl Johnson, who claims in a suit filed in a US District Court in Illinois on Friday alleging that West and Jay-Z sampled his 1967 song Different Strokes for a tune on their recent collaboration Watch the Throne.

According to Johnson’s suit, the pair had first solicited permission to sample Different Strokes on the song The Joy for West’s album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, but were shot down, and the song was left off the album.

The tune ended up on Watch the Throne, which was released in August. According to the suit, the defendants claim they received permission to sample the song from an entity called the Numero Uno Group, which has never had any authorisation to license the tune.

Different Strokes has been sampled by a number of artists, including Michael Jackson, Kid Rock and Will Smith, the lawsuit states. Johnson, who also names Island Def Jam, Universal Music Group and Roc-a-Fella Records in the suit, is seeking actual and punitive damages to be determined at a jury trial.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.