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Wruh wroh! It appears Kanye West and a number of high profile record
labels are the subject of a new copyright lawsuit, centering around the use of a 1974 sample below - ‘Bumpin’ Bus Stop’ by music group Thunder & Lightning.



Trena Steward and Lorenzo Pryor, who are the owners of the copyright for the song and the children of the late David Pryor, a founding member of Thunder & Lightning who passed away from various health conditions back in 2006 are suing for millions of dollars in damages, claiming Kanye illegally used a portion of the tune in his hit single “Gold Digger.” According to the lawsuit, Kanye and various labels engaged in a 15-year “illegal copyright infringement scheme and criminal enterprise involving the unauthorized, willful sampling of plaintiffs original copyrighted music on a massive scale.”

Other record label’s named in the lawsuit include: Roc-a-Fella Records, Bad Boy Records, Stones Throw Records, Bomb Hip-Hop Records, Autumn Games, Activision, Caroline Distribution and The Island Def Jam Music Group.

Checkout a few of the tracks that have made use of the sample below or head over to Who Sampled? to see a list of all the guilty peeps.




Led Zeppelin x Beastie Boys

When the Levee Breaks is a blues song written and first recorded by husband and wife Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie in 1929. The song is in reaction to the upheaval caused by the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927.

It was re-worked by English rock group Led Zeppelin as the last song on their fourth album, released in 1971. The lyrics in Led Zeppelin’s version, credited to Memphis Minnie and the individual members of Led Zeppelin, were partially based on the original recording. The song was recorded at a different tempo, then slowed down, explaining the “sludgy” sound, particularly on the harmonica and guitar solos. Because this song was heavily produced in the studio, it was difficult to recreate live. The band only played it a few times in the early stages of their 1975 U.S. Tour.



Led Zeppelin “When The Levee Breaks”



The song has been sampled a bunch of times but it doesn’t get much better than when The Beastie Boys and Rick Rubin put it to use it on Rhymin’ & Stealin’ which featured on The Beasties 1986 classic long player debut Licensed To Ill.