Jay Z Sued Over Alleged Sample in 'Run This Town'

Label TufAmerica claims the rapper sampled a track from 1969 by R&B singer Eddie Bo

Jay Z performs in London.
Andrew Benge/Redferns via Getty Images
November 7, 2013 5:00 PM ET

A record label representing the now-deceased R&B artist Eddie Bo has filed a copyright claim against Jay Z for allegedly using Bo's 1969 funk single "Hook & Sling Part 1" without permission, according to New York Daily News. The label, TufAmerica, claims the sample appears in Jay Z's 2009 Grammy-winning single "Run This Town," which featured Rihanna and one of the song's producers, Kanye West.

See Where '99 Problems' Ranks on Our List of the 100 Best Songs of the 2000s

The label has a history of filing sample-related lawsuits. Last year, it sued West for using a sample from the same song on his 2010 record My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. "Hook & Sling Part 1" allegedly makes appearances in that album's "Lost in the World" and "Who Will Survive in America?" as well as West's "Runaway" clip, according to Pitchfork. At the time, TufAmerica claimed that although West's labels paid a licensing fee, they "failed and refused to enter into written license agreements that accounted for their multiple other uses of ['Hook and Sling']."

The same label also sued the Beastie Boys over a Trouble Funk sample on their albums Licensed to Ill and Paul's Boutique in May 2012, filing their claim a day before the death of Adam Yauch. The Beastie Boys denied the claim in November and questioned why the label was suing them over records that were two decades old. And in 2011, it filed a claim against Christina Aguilera over alleged use of Dave Cortez and the Moon People's 1968 track "Hippy Skippy Moon Strut" on her 2004 song "Aint' No Other Man."

According to the sample database WhoSampled, "Hook & Sling Part 1" also appears on Justin Timberlake's "SexyBack," Kanye West's "Good Friday" and LL Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

More Song Stories entries »