by Paul Cantor
The Rza recently filed a cease and desist order to stop the release of a song he produced- “Heartbreaker”- from appearing on The Game’s latest mixtape, Purp and Patron. The song was originally intended to be included on Game’s long-delayed R.E.D. album, but according to Rza, the sample the track is built off around- Grand Funk Railroad’s “Heartbreaker”- couldn’t be cleared in time. This is far from the first time a sample clearance issue has plagued a rap song. Here are five other noteworthy songs that had problems with the samples they incorporated.
1) Biz Markie “Alone Again” (I Need A Haircut, Cold Chillin/Warner Bros. Records 1991)
In the early days, hip-hop was a sampling free-for-all. But that all changed after the release of Biz Markie’s I Need A Haircut LP. On “Alone Again,” Biz sampled Gilbert O’Sullivan’s 1972 hit “Alone Again (Naturally),” and the owners of the tune, Grand Upright Music, Ltd, sued Warner Bros. Records for copyright infringement. The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York ordered an injunction against Warner, and from that point forward, all samples used in hip-hop songs had to be granted permission- in most cases paid for- before being used. Hip-hop production would never be the same. Read More...