Jay-Z, Kanye West Sued Over Watch The Throne Sample

Jay-Z and Kanye West have been sued by soul/blues icon Syl Johnson over allegations that they sampled one of his songs on their Watch the Throne album without permission.

The complaint, filed in Illinois federal court Friday, alleges that the dynamic duo sampled a portion of his 1967 hit “Different Strokes” on the Throne deluxe-edition song “The Joy,” according to the Hollywood Reporter. Johnson claims the song was sampled without his permission and has was not credited in the album’s liner notes.

The allegation of copyright infringement was first raised in late August, when archival record label and publisher the Numero Uno Group — which was erroneously credited as the song’s publisher in the Throne — threatened a lawsuit on Johnson’s behalf.

The suit further claims West originally attempted to sample the tune on his My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy solo album, but was unable to get clearance in time to use it. Given that history, the suit alleges West’s decision to use the sample on another album without permission is an example of “knowing” and “willful” misappropriation.


Pictured:  Rappers Jay-Z (L) and Kanye West perform onstage during the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on August 28, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)