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    1. #1
      Jahness's Avatar
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      Arrow Kanye West, record labels sued over jazz samples


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      Kanye West, record labels sued over jazz samples




      Rappers Kanye West, Method Man, Redman, Common and their record companies were sued on Thursday by late U.S. jazz musician Joe Farrell's daughter, who accused them of using her father's music without approval.

      The lawsuit, filed by Kathleen Firrantello in the U.S. District Court in New York, names the rappers along with various labels owned by Universal Music Group./

      None of the record companies or representatives for the rappers were immediately available for comment.

      The lawsuit said all the rappers used portions of Farrell's 1974 musical composition "Upon This Rock" in three separate songs -- West in "Gone," Common in "Chi-City" and Method Man and Redman in their song "Run 4 Cover."

      Firrantello is seeking punitive damages of at least $1 million and asked that no further copies of the songs be made, sold or performed, according to the lawsuit.

      Reuters/Nielsen

      Kanye West, record labels sued over jazz samples - Yahoo! News

      Copyright © 2008 Reuters Limited
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    2. #2
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      That is good for suckers like them!!!

    3. #3
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      What happened to the real creative artist who didnt need to worry about sampling somebody elses work they just created their own. It's sad that in todays music industry they are more focused on getting an album out rather then the quality of the album.
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      With many of our jazz musicians fading into obscurity and dying impoverished due to the history of this business of not paying them what they are due, These artists SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER than to pull something of this nature.

      I'm sure if the situation was reversed they too would be in court to maintain and protect what they created in their own right.
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    5. #5
      Raha's Avatar
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      Hmmm...


      0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
      I have listened to the original song, "Upon This Rock", and honestly, I do not think that the daughter of this man:


      Joe Farrell

      ...should get any kind of money from the artists mentioned for the following reasons:

      1. He was a saxophone player, and the samples used in the songs mentioned were drums and guitar samples from "Upon This Rock", no sax sounds whatsoever.

      2. Unless he wrote the music for the drum and guitar parts, then the daughter should not get any kind of money. If anything, the drummer(s) and guitarist should be the ones asking for money for the sampling of those parts, but I have not heard them say anything yet.

      3. Should the samples have been cleared? Yes (come on Kanye: you used almost the EXACT same drum break in both "Gone" and "Chi-City"). Are there many others that use the same drum break? HELL YEAH. As someone said on another message board that I frequent (Okayplayer.com Boards - Viewing topic #1701287 - Com, Ye, Meth, and Red sued (swipe)), if (better yet when) they settle, will the drummer and guitarist get a piece of the money?


      Sampling is a very tricky beast. As a producer myself, I do not use sampling (in terms of chopping up records looking for that perfect kick or snare or riff) because I want my rhythms and beats to be as genuine as possible. However, I can't knock those that do sample, because if it wasn't for their sampling, I would have not found out about the many, many, different artists out there. Speaking of sampling (in terms of hip-hop), that is just one way that artists have sampled another's work. That limited idea of sampling is not taking into account the many artists who have used riffs, drums, horn patterns, etc. in their music from other sources (case in point: in the song "Cold Sweat" by James Brown, the horn pattern is based on the Miles Davis' song called "So What").

      In the end, I think the samples should have been cleared, but at the same time I think that the right people should get the money (if they haven't already ok'ed the artists to sample that music in the first place).

      P.E.A.C.E.
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    6. #6
      Sun Ship's Avatar
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      Brother Raha, I haven’t researched this particular story, but it goes like this…the money goes to the copyright holder, plain and simple! If Joe Farrell’s estate still owns the copyright, than they should get paid, plain and simple. Now, if the beats behind this Kanye West piece just sort of “sounds-like” the original, than that’s something different. The only way individual musicians on that recording can get paid royalties, they have to have been part of the composing or scoring of the music, and included within the copyright registration, otherwise they would have to prove they were a part of originating the song, and this is not always an easy case to make without proper legal documentation. Studio musicians are paid outright everyday for their important contributions and do not receive any royalties, that’s just business.

      Also sampling and the overuse of synthesizing sound has destroyed a once thriving, very original, very creative, and healthy acoustical Black musician and composer community. I am not against the use of synthesizing or creating variations on previous compositions or themes, but what’s happening today removes or distances the artist from a lot of the organic process, the theoretical aspects of musical creation, and the vibrant essence imbued in manipulating an acoustical instrument to make music. There is something sacred, spiritual, and metaphysical about these relationships that go back 100,000’s of years.

      I still don’t understand how rappers and someone sitting only behind a computer keyboard can deem themselves to be musicians.



      Quote Originally Posted by Raha View Post
      I have listened to the original song, "Upon This Rock", and honestly, I do not think that the daughter of this man:


      Joe Farrell

      ...should get any kind of money from the artists mentioned for the following reasons:

      1. He was a saxophone player, and the samples used in the songs mentioned were drums and guitar samples from "Upon This Rock", no sax sounds whatsoever.

      2. Unless he wrote the music for the drum and guitar parts, then the daughter should not get any kind of money. If anything, the drummer(s) and guitarist should be the ones asking for money for the sampling of those parts, but I have not heard them say anything yet.

      3. Should the samples have been cleared? Yes (come on Kanye: you used almost the EXACT same drum break in both "Gone" and "Chi-City"). Are there many others that use the same drum break? HELL YEAH. As someone said on another message board that I frequent (Okayplayer.com Boards - Viewing topic #1701287 - Com, Ye, Meth, and Red sued (swipe)), if (better yet when) they settle, will the drummer and guitarist get a piece of the money?


      Sampling is a very tricky beast. As a producer myself, I do not use sampling (in terms of chopping up records looking for that perfect kick or snare or riff) because I want my rhythms and beats to be as genuine as possible. However, I can't knock those that do sample, because if it wasn't for their sampling, I would have not found out about the many, many, different artists out there. Speaking of sampling (in terms of hip-hop), that is just one way that artists have sampled another's work. That limited idea of sampling is not taking into account the many artists who have used riffs, drums, horn patterns, etc. in their music from other sources (case in point: in the song "Cold Sweat" by James Brown, the horn pattern is based on the Miles Davis' song called "So What").

      In the end, I think the samples should have been cleared, but at the same time I think that the right people should get the money (if they haven't already ok'ed the artists to sample that music in the first place).

      P.E.A.C.E.


      Remember... there is no spoon...

    7. #7
      Jahness's Avatar
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      Arrow


      0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
      Quote Originally Posted by Raha View Post
      I have listened to the original song, "Upon This Rock", and honestly, I do not think that the daughter of this man:


      Joe Farrell

      ...should get any kind of money from the artists mentioned for the following reasons:

      1. He was a saxophone player, and the samples used in the songs mentioned were drums and guitar samples from "Upon This Rock", no sax sounds whatsoever.

      2. Unless he wrote the music for the drum and guitar parts, then the daughter should not get any kind of money. If anything, the drummer(s) and guitarist should be the ones asking for money for the sampling of those parts, but I have not heard them say anything yet.

      3. Should the samples have been cleared? Yes (come on Kanye: you used almost the EXACT same drum break in both "Gone" and "Chi-City"). Are there many others that use the same drum break? HELL YEAH. As someone said on another message board that I frequent (Okayplayer.com Boards - Viewing topic #1701287 - Com, Ye, Meth, and Red sued (swipe)), if (better yet when) they settle, will the drummer and guitarist get a piece of the money?


      Sampling is a very tricky beast. As a producer myself, I do not use sampling (in terms of chopping up records looking for that perfect kick or snare or riff) because I want my rhythms and beats to be as genuine as possible. However, I can't knock those that do sample, because if it wasn't for their sampling, I would have not found out about the many, many, different artists out there. Speaking of sampling (in terms of hip-hop), that is just one way that artists have sampled another's work. That limited idea of sampling is not taking into account the many artists who have used riffs, drums, horn patterns, etc. in their music from other sources (case in point: in the song "Cold Sweat" by James Brown, the horn pattern is based on the Miles Davis' song called "So What").

      In the end, I think the samples should have been cleared, but at the same time I think that the right people should get the money (if they haven't already ok'ed the artists to sample that music in the first place).

      P.E.A.C.E.
      Quote Originally Posted by Queen_Samiya View Post
      That is good for suckers like them!!!
      Greetings Queen_Samiya!

      It's good for suckers like who? I just didn't fully understand which side of the issue your comments supports.

      Can you please elaborate a little more.

      Thanking you in advance.


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      Mind what you want, because someone wants your mind.

      Working together, the ants ate the elephant.


    8. #8
      Raha's Avatar
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      0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
      Quote Originally Posted by Sun Ship View Post
      Brother Raha, I havenít researched this particular story, but it goes like thisÖthe money goes to the copyright holder, plain and simple! If Joe Farrellís estate still owns the copyright, than they should get paid, plain and simple. Now, if the beats behind this Kanye West piece just sort of ďsounds-likeĒ the original, than thatís something different. The only way individual musicians on that recording can get paid royalties, they have to have been part of the composing or scoring of the music, and included within the copyright registration, otherwise they would have to prove they were a part of originating the song, and this is not always an easy case to make without proper legal documentation. Studio musicians are paid outright everyday for their important contributions and do not receive any royalties, thatís just business.

      Also sampling and the overuse of synthesizing sound has destroyed a once thriving, very original, very creative, and healthy acoustical Black musician and composer community. I am not against the use of synthesizing or creating variations on previous compositions or themes, but whatís happening today removes or distances the artist from a lot of the organic process, the theoretical aspects of musical creation, and the vibrant essence imbued in manipulating an acoustical instrument to make music. There is something sacred, spiritual, and metaphysical about these relationships that go back 100,000ís of years.

      I still donít understand how rappers and someone sitting only behind a computer keyboard can deem themselves to be musicians.

      Thank you Sun Ship for your response.

      After seeing about what you said about copyrights, if Joe Farrell's estate does indeed own the copyright to the song (and the estate is the sole owner of it), then the estate should indeed get royalties. However, there has not been enough information gathered (at least from the article's standpoint) to determine whether or not the other musicians on the song helped to compose the piece and whether they were included in the copyright registration or if they were as you said "studio musicians". On that front, we will just have to wait and see.

      I do agree with you that there is a sacredness to making music that should not be taken lightly. However, I disagree with "acoustical instruments" being the only way that one can connect to that organic feeling of creating music.

      Rappers (at least those that are in the know) see their voices as an instrument and a voice to use to express themselves in whatever capacity they see fit. However, they must also have a knowledge of music to know how to rap or sing on beat to flow with the track.

      I am not going to sit here and say that there are not a lot of people today who use only a computer for music creation and thereby call themselves musicians or producers, because there are. I make most of my music on my computer, but I do have actual hands-on instruments that I do enjoy playing (I have a djembe and two flutes), and I do intend on getting more instruments and a better way to record myself playing those instruments to use in my music. However, I cannot say that someone who primarily uses a computer or purely electronic equipment (turntables, keyboards, laptops, etc.) is not a musician. They have to know the same basic music principles as someone that plays a guitar or the drums. Then again, it really comes down to how one defines what a "musician" is, correct?

      Thanks again for the response.

      P.E.A.C.E.
      Pyrrhic Victory (New songs are up!): http://www.reverbnation.com/pyrrhicvictory

      Some people take themselves WAY TOO SERIOUSLY, when in actuality, no one else is really taking them as seriously as they think.

    9. #9
      Walk Wit Me's Avatar
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      I don't have a problem with artisti sampling music as long as what they create sounds totally different than the sound they sampled. Premier is great at that.

      But alot of Kanye's, Just Blaze's and other producers stuff sound EXACTLY like the original songs they sampled... (Just Blaze didn't do shit to Curtis Mayfield's "Moving on up" except add some drums and named it "Touch the sky")

    10. #10
      Sun Ship's Avatar
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      I appreciate your response also Brother Raha...thanks

      Well let me say this, usually an artist who is or was recording on the professional level that Joe Farrell was doing over his long career, more than likely have their business together, actually it's imperative. Joe Farrell was not necessarily one of my Jazz heroes for I focused mostly on Black Jazz musicians, and white musicians had to be way beyond the curve to get my attention or recognition. With that said, Joe Farrell still played with many greats and I’m sure I heard some of his discography over the years. He no doubt was signed with major labels and had an agent or manager. It is music business 101 to copyright your music, and especially at that time be a member of ASCAP or BMI.

      Believe me, when James Brown music is being sampled, it’s not his funky drummer or bass player getting paid royalties, its James Brown (accept where noted on the copyright, and this is always easily found on the label or cover of a CD). A person would have to be totally ignorant of basic music business to release an album with music that was not copyrighted, and I don’t think any major or minor label would risk that type of legal issue.

      You’ll be surprised how many now unknown artist or their estates are getting a royalty check (big or small) every month and have been for years because some commercial, radio station, or artist is playing, sampling, or recording their music.

      I’ve been a musician in the Jazz idiom for some decades and have seen many of the changes happen before my eyes and ears. I say this respectfully, it’s hard to explain the ambiance, atmosphere, and holistic values of the Black communities once thriving acoustical music scene, especially as it applied to Jazz, to some of the younger Brothers entering a mostly computer-based music field, for they can’t miss what they never either had, or developed within.

      Musicians and live music was everywhere!

      Let me clear, I’m not attacking the use of computers to create, record, and process music, or even in live performance, but I’m bother with it replacing real acoustic-based instruments and real trained musicians. Otherwise, I welcome this new technology, for I have experimented with and used it myself over the years. The desktop computer has been the greatest tool as it relates to independent recording, producing, and distribution, no one will dispute that.

      There are all types of pathological things I believe happening to our people on a deeper subconscious level with the absence of the organic creativity and sensitivity of acoustic resonance, it’s like we are nurturing some sort of dysgenics on the metaphysical level of sound.

      I believe, there are direct connections to artificial or distorted emotions in our Black society as it relates to how especially most of our youth are absorbing their music. I don’t know if I can redeem that knowledge in this post, but please take these clues for what it’s worth, there are many elders I know who will agree with these thoughts.


      Since you play Djembe, let me break it down like this, I remember Duke Ellington once said “a drum is a woman” and Carlos “Patato” Valdez expressed [paraphasing] “his congas were like two women and needed to be caressed and not struck when played expertly"; Mongo Santamaria once said something like, "playing congas are as natural as making love, “skin to skin”…I don’t think you can discover these analogies with a computer keyboard. (smile)



      Quote Originally Posted by Raha View Post
      Thank you Sun Ship for your response.

      After seeing about what you said about copyrights, if Joe Farrell's estate does indeed own the copyright to the song (and the estate is the sole owner of it), then the estate should indeed get royalties. However, there has not been enough information gathered (at least from the article's standpoint) to determine whether or not the other musicians on the song helped to compose the piece and whether they were included in the copyright registration or if they were as you said "studio musicians". On that front, we will just have to wait and see.

      I do agree with you that there is a sacredness to making music that should not be taken lightly. However, I disagree with "acoustical instruments" being the only way that one can connect to that organic feeling of creating music.

      Rappers (at least those that are in the know) see their voices as an instrument and a voice to use to express themselves in whatever capacity they see fit. However, they must also have a knowledge of music to know how to rap or sing on beat to flow with the track.

      I am not going to sit here and say that there are not a lot of people today who use only a computer for music creation and thereby call themselves musicians or producers, because there are. I make most of my music on my computer, but I do have actual hands-on instruments that I do enjoy playing (I have a djembe and two flutes), and I do intend on getting more instruments and a better way to record myself playing those instruments to use in my music. However, I cannot say that someone who primarily uses a computer or purely electronic equipment (turntables, keyboards, laptops, etc.) is not a musician. They have to know the same basic music principles as someone that plays a guitar or the drums. Then again, it really comes down to how one defines what a "musician" is, correct?

      Thanks again for the response.

      P.E.A.C.E.


      Remember... there is no spoon...

    11. #11
      Raha's Avatar
      Raha is offline Be EASY.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Sun Ship View Post
      I appreciate your response also Brother Raha...thanks

      Well let me say this, usually an artist who is or was recording on the professional level that Joe Farrell was doing over his long career, more than likely have their business together, actually it's imperative. Joe Farrell was not necessarily one of my Jazz heroes for I focused mostly on Black Jazz musicians, and white musicians had to be way beyond the curve to get my attention or recognition. With that said, Joe Farrell still played with many greats and Iím sure I heard some of his discography over the years. He no doubt was signed with major labels and had an agent or manager. It is music business 101 to copyright your music, and especially at that time be a member of ASCAP or BMI.

      Believe me, when James Brown music is being sampled, itís not his funky drummer or bass player getting paid royalties, its James Brown (accept where noted on the copyright, and this is always easily found on the label or cover of a CD). A person would have to be totally ignorant of basic music business to release an album with music that was not copyrighted, and I donít think any major or minor label would risk that type of legal issue.

      Youíll be surprised how many now unknown artist or their estates are getting a royalty check (big or small) every month and have been for years because some commercial, radio station, or artist is playing, sampling, or recording their music.

      Iíve been a musician in the Jazz idiom for some decades and have seen many of the changes happen before my eyes and ears. I say this respectfully, itís hard to explain the ambiance, atmosphere, and holistic values of the Black communities once thriving acoustical music scene, especially as it applied to Jazz, to some of the younger Brothers entering a mostly computer-based music field, for they canít miss what they never either had, or developed within.

      Musicians and live music was everywhere!

      Let me clear, Iím not attacking the use of computers to create, record, and process music, or even in live performance, but Iím bother with it replacing real acoustic-based instruments and real trained musicians. Otherwise, I welcome this new technology, for I have experimented with and used it myself over the years. The desktop computer has been the greatest tool as it relates to independent recording, producing, and distribution, no one will dispute that.

      There are all types of pathological things I believe happening to our people on a deeper subconscious level with the absence of the organic creativity and sensitivity of acoustic resonance, itís like we are nurturing some sort of dysgenics on the metaphysical level of sound.

      I believe, there are direct connections to artificial or distorted emotions in our Black society as it relates to how especially most of our youth are absorbing their music. I donít know if I can redeem that knowledge in this post, but please take these clues for what itís worth, there are many elders I know who will agree with these thoughts.


      Since you play Djembe, let me break it down like this, I remember Duke Ellington once said ďa drum is a womanĒ and Carlos ďPatatoĒ Valdez expressed [paraphasing] ďhis congas were like two women and needed to be caressed and not struck when played expertly"; Mongo Santamaria once said something like, "playing congas are as natural as making love, ďskin to skinĒÖI donít think you can discover these analogies with a computer keyboard. (smile)

      Thanks again for your response Brother Sun Ship.

      I had a feeling that you are a musician. Lol, I could tell from your responses in this thread.

      My problem was not necessarily the copyright itself (I am aware that that has to be done for any kind of music) but who exactly has the copyright to "Upon This Rock": Joe Farrell, or all of the musicians who worked on the song? Like I have previously stated, I am not sure who is the owner(s) of the copyright, so I cannot say with certain who gets the money in the event that she wins the settlement. I can only infer that Joe Farrell is the sole owner of the copyright to the song, since I have not heard anything as of yet from the other musicians involved in the song.

      The main problem that I see with my generation in terms of musical production is that some do not know that the producers and/or rappers that they admire so much i.e. Kanye West, Pete Rock, Just Blaze, etc., most of them know how to play instruments and do so on some or most of their songs (even if they do sample other songs).

      I agree with you on the quotes when it comes to percussion because no matter how good a computer sound of a drum sounds, it can't replace live drums/percussion. I long for the day when I'll be able to play some real live drums (and in turn be able to play the tracks that I've created). I can't say that others have that same goal.

      If the youth is not willing to go out and look behind the music that these hip-hop producers are using in their music, then it's up to those in the know to let them know about the various different artists that have helped shape music for what it is today.

      P.E.A.C.E.
      Pyrrhic Victory (New songs are up!): http://www.reverbnation.com/pyrrhicvictory

      Some people take themselves WAY TOO SERIOUSLY, when in actuality, no one else is really taking them as seriously as they think.

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