For Kanye West’s legal team, this must be a Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy come to very real life.
The “Flashing Lights” rapper has been served a copyright infringement lawsuit from New York label TufAmerica over the use of “Hook and Sling, Part 1” by Eddie Bo, a 1960s/70s singer and piano player.
Sampling is by its nature referential, so here’s how the dots connect:
TufAmerica is claiming that Kanye’s Roc-A-Fella “failed and refused to enter into written license agreements that accounted for their multiple other uses” of “Hook and Sling, Part 1.”
While Kanye’s label and Universal Music Group paid a license fee of $62,500 for the rights to sample it on two tracks from the 2010 album—“Who Will Survive in America?” and “Lost in the World”—they allege parts of the track also can be found in the short film version of “Runaway.”
No official word from Kanye's legal counsel on the matter, but if it's anything like the rapper's demeanor, it'll probably just be a loud Kanye shrug.
It’s probably a valid suit, but TufAmerica has a recent past with filing these suits against…well, anyone. Just this May, they claimed the Beastie Boys infringed a copyright of theirs, regardless of the fact they’re already well outside the five-year statue of limitations.
They’re just hoping for a legal loophole that might work in their favor. With this frame of mind in mind, ask yourself: Who’s the real “Gold Digger” in this situation?