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Dre to Pay $1.5M for “High”

Jury says 1999 track takes too much from Fatback hit

A federal jury in Los Angeles recommended Tuesday that rapper and
producer Dr. Dre pay a British music publishing company $1.5
million for appropriating parts of the 1980 Fatback hit
“Backstrokin'” for “Let’s Get High,” from Dre’s album
2001. The songs are built on similar six-note funk bass
lines, Dre’s slowed to a tempo more suited to the follow-up to his
gangsta rap masterpiece The Chronic.

“Backstrokin’,” from the 1980 album Hotbox, was
Fatback’s highest-climbing single. Written by bassist Johnny
Flippin and drummer Bill Curtis, it reached Number Three on the
R&B chart in 1980. Fatback, a funk collective originally known
as the Fatback Band, also made one of the first rap singles ever
with their 1979 hit “King Tim III (Personality Jock).”

Minder Music, the London-based company that controls the rights
to “Backstrokin’,” was intially seeking $3.5 million in damages.
Lawyers for Dr. Dre maintain the similarities between the two
tracks — Dre wrote “High” with Eminem and others — are
unintentional, and say they plan to appeal the decision if the
judge approves the jury’s recommendation.

Dr. Dre’s 2001 has sold more than six million copies in
the U.S.

In This Article: Dr. Dre

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