Rapper and aspiring Haitian politician Wyclef Jean is being sued for $2 million (£1.23 million) in damages by a 90s rap group who claim he used a beat from one of their most successful songs without their full consent.
Blahzay Blahzay, a rap group popular in the 1990s, alleges that Jean did ask if he could use the aforementioned beat in Welcome to the East, a song from his 2007 album Carnival Vol. II: Memoirs of an Immigrant.
However, the group claims that they only granted Jean permission to sample the beat – from one of their biggest hits from 1996, entitled Danger – on the condition that they would also appear on his album.
According to the lawsuit, Jean failed to honour these terms and used the sample anyway. He did send the group a cheque, but they claim they rejected it and sent it back to him.
This is the second filing of the lawsuit, which was very nearly settled last year. However, negotiation talks failed between Blahzay Blahzay and representatives from Jean’s record label – who presumably have professional indemnity insurance for copyright infringement cases – and the suit was re-filed.