All samples cleared! TMZ reports that Jay-Z and Kanye West have settled a federal lawsuit in which soul singer Syl Johnson claimed that Jay and Kanye illegally lifted a portion of his 1967 record “Different Strokes” for “The Joy,” off of their Watch the Throne album.
“The Joy,” which was produced by Pete Rock with West, Mike Dean and Jeff Bhasker listed as co-producers, first surfaced in 2010 as a free digital download as part of Yeezy’s G.O.O.D. Fridays viral campaign.
The suit claimed that ’Ye attempted to clear the “Different Strokes” sample for his Grammy Award-winning My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy but couldn’t get the necessary agreement in place before releasing his LP.
The song was later included as a bonus track on the deluxe version of Kanye and Jay’s tag-team Watch the Throne LP, but the duo failed to clear the sample, according to Johnson. This isn’t the first time “Different Strokes” has been sampled in hip-hop before: Wu-Tang Clan (“Shame On a N—a”) and Public Enemy (“Fight the Power”) are among the most notable acts to use the record.
Johnson filed his complaint in Illinois federal court in October after archival record label and publisher the Numero Uno Group initially threatened a lawsuit on his behalf. The lawsuit was dismissed last week because the two sides have reached a settlement. No details on the agreement have been made available, however.