Gospel Singers Say ‘Fair Use’ Does Not Include Obscenity-Laced Hip-Hop Version
Gospel singers sued Rick Ross, Jay Z and Dr. Dre, claiming the hip-hop superstars sampled their tune without permission on Ross’s Grammy-nominated album “God Forgives, I Don’t” and “laced plaintiffs’ gospel work” with vile language.
Clara Shepherd Warrick and Jimmy Lee Weary sued William Roberts II aka Rick Ross; Andre Young aka Dr. Dre; Shawn Carter aka Jay Z; Jacob Dutton aka Jake One, a producer; Universal Music Group; Universal Music Publishing Group; and Island Def Jam Music Group, in Federal Court.
Warrick and Weary wrote a gospel song, “I’m So Grateful,” in 1976.
“Plaintiffs’ song was first distributed circa 1976 by their gospel singing group, Crowns of Glory, on an album titled ‘God Save the Children.’ Since the release of the song, Shepherd and/or Weary have performed plaintiffs’ song all over the world,” the complaint states.
“On or about July 31, 2012, Rick Ross and Def Jam released the rap album entitled ‘God Forgives - I Don’t.’ This rap album contains a song entitled ‘3 Kings,’ which was produced by Jake One and feature lyrical rap presentations by Rick Ross, Dr. Dre, and Jay Z.
“Defendants sampled and copied additional, substantial original elements of plaintiffs’ Song without plaintiffs’ permission, when they wrote, recorded, performed and made derivative works of the 3 Kings song. ..
More: Courthouse News Service