Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA files lawsuit following sampling infringement row

Producer wants court to clear him of infringement allegations over Kanye West collaboration

Wu Tang Clan‘s RZA has filed a lawsuit after becoming embroiled in a legal row over sampling, according to reports.

Rolling Stone says that the producer has taken legal action to ensure that he is cleared of infringement following a dispute regarding his 2010 collaboration with Kanye West ‘Dark Fantasy’. He alleges that Island Def Jam have withheld $50,000 (£33,000) in royalties from him due to allegations that the song contained an uncleared sample.

Teichiku Entertainment originally demanded compensation after claiming that the song featured a sample of ‘Gincyo Watadori’, performed by Meiko Kaji, and their lawsuit subsequently caused Island Def Jam to withhold royalties from RZA. The hip-hop star has now responded by filing his own lawsuit against JVC Kenwood Holdings, a multinational company which includes Teichiku.

A legal representative for Teichiku confirmed that they made their claim for compensation in June 2012, but were forced to file a lawsuit instead following disagreements over a settlement offer.

Last month, it was reported that RZA is set to feature on the new James Blake album ‘Overgrown’. The pair will team up for the track ‘Take A Fall For Me’, in which the rapper reportedly delivers an “anglophile” verse referencing fish and chips as well as drinking stout.

In October last year, meanwhile, the rapper said he was eager to to reunite Wu Tang Clan to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their classic debut album ‘Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)’ – and that he also wanted them to be more professional. “We need to, one time, completely, efficiently, properly, professionally represent our brand,” he said. “One more time. But this time, showing up on time for press and for concerts and studio. Do it one time, perfect.

“We did good – people love it and I’m proud of what we’ve done,” he added. “But all that was done – I would always say in my old interviews, ‘This is organised confusion.’ It was kept and contained, but it was a lot of chaos.”