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Jay-Z and Timbaland sued over two decade old sample

By | Published on Tuesday 21 May 2019


Jay-Z and Timbaland have both been sued over an allegedly uncleared sample on the 1998 track ‘Paper Chase’, which was produced by the latter and appears on the former’s ‘Vol 2… Hard Knock Life’ album. Timbaland is also accused of using the same uncleared sample on another track a year later, Ginuwine’s ‘Toe 2 Toe’.

The sample comes from a 1970 track called ‘Help Me Put Out The Flame (In My Heart)’, which was written and recorded by soul singer Ernie Hines and released by the Stax label. It’s Hines who is suing for copyright infringement, with legal papers filed last week claiming that he might be due $2 million in damages for the allegedly infringing samples.

According to Billboard, among other things the lawsuit says that Jay-Z’s own streaming service Tidal notes how ‘Paper Chase’ samples ‘Help Me’. This, the litigation argues, means the rapper was definitely aware of what track he was sampling.

But why, you might rightly ask, is Hines only suing now, two decades after the allegedly infringing records were released? Pre-empting that very good question, last week’s legal papers state that Hines has no interest in rap music and, as a result, had never heard either track until last year.

Both Universal and Sony are also listed as defendants on the lawsuit, the former having released ‘Paper Chase’ and the latter ‘Toe 2 Toe’.

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