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Jay-Z and Kanye West sued over “Watch the Throne” sample

By The Hip Hop Writer
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

For a brief moment, Jay-Z and Kanye West breathed new life into hip hop, quickly becoming the focal point. During the summer, the duo released their Watch the Throne album. Their run, however, was short-lived as Lil Wayne released Tha Carter IV weeks later.

Now, Jay-Z is in the news more for Beyonce’s baby bump and J. Cole than for his own work. Kanye West has faded into the background, as he continues to unleash Big Sean on the world. The Throne, however, is now back in the headlines.

Their song, “The Joy,” contains a sample from soul veteran, Syl Johnson. The song uses elements of his 1967 single, “Different Strokes.” Johnson filed his suit in Illinois on October 13. Lawyers for The Throne said they tried to sample the song for Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. The song ended up not being used on that album, so they kept it for Watch the Throne.

Syl Johnson claimed they never contacted him about sampling the song and he wants to impound all copies of Watch the Throne. Along with stopping distribution of the album, Johnson wants to receive full accounting of sales and publishing proceeds, along with punitive damages.

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