EMI Traps Danger Mouse

Record label blocks marriage of Beatles and Jay-Z

February 11, 2004 12:00 AM ET

EMI, the company that controls the Beatles' catalog, has issued a "cease and desist" order to an underground DJ who fused the Fab Four's "White Album" with Jay-Z's The Black Album.

DJ Danger Mouse (a.k.a. Brian Burton) took a cappella tracks from Jay-Z's latest record and married them to samples from the Beatles' double-album classic and dubbed the new creation The Grey Album. Danger Mouse hadn't initially intended the record for commercial release, pressing only 3,000 copies for non-retail distribution. But the limited-edition copies made their way to the Web, where they've begun to spread to a wider audience.

Danger Mouse claims that he hasn't distributed any additional copies, making him compliant with the order, though his Web site still boasts that the record "will be made available worldwide" this month or next. And according to the DJ, he still hasn't received the mark of disapproval that would sting the most.

"If somebody like Ringo or Paul McCartney heard it, I think they would dig it," Danger Mouse told Rolling Stone. "[But] if Jay-Z heard it and said, 'This sucks, dude,' then I'd be like, 'OK, everyone please send me back their copies.'"

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