Bob James has filed a suit against Madlib and Stones Throw Records.

Jazz legend Bob James has filed a suit against acclaimed hip hop producer and Stones Throw lynchpin Madlib. James alleges that Madlib, real name Otis Jackson Jr., sampled James’ music without permission or compensation.

On April 10, legal representatives for Bob James commenced an action in California Central Federal District Court. The suit names Jackson as a defendant alongside his record label, Stones Throw. James is also suing Amazon and Apple for profits lost as a result of the sale of the music. James is seeking damages for copyright infringement including costs and fees.

The suit alleges that Jackson used elements of James’ copyright protected composition ‘Nautilus’ for the foundation of his 2001 ‘Sparkdala’ instrumental. The lawsuit also included a harsh condemnation of hip hop and the widespread use of samples within the genre.

“One of the problems that confront many ‘Hip Hop’ or ‘Rap’ artists is that they are unable to achieve an instrumental background musical sound quality for their works,” reads the suit. “As a result, they borrow or ‘sample,’ therefore infringe the performance and composition of others in this case, the copy written works of James.”

James has sued hip hop artists for uncleared samples in the past. He previously brought a lawsuit against DJ Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince for sampling ‘Westchester Lady’ on their hit ‘Touch of Jazz.’ Despite this, James remains one of the most widely-sampled jazz artists in hip hop history. The aforementioned composition ‘Nautilus’ was sampled on such classics as Ghostface Killah’s ‘Daytona 500’ and Slick Rick’s ‘Children’s Story’ as well as Adam F’s ‘Circles’. [via Gotham City Esq.]

Read next: Sample the funk: 10 legendary samples and the stories behind them.



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