Wu-Tang Clan members sued for illegal sampling

Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Method Man and RZA hit with lawsuit over 2009 track

Members of rap collective the Wu Tang Clan have been hit with a lawsuit accusing them of using illegal samples, according to reports.

All Hip Hop reports that rappers Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Method Man and RZA have all been named in the suit, which was filed by Bridgeport Music and Westbound Records in a US District Court last week.

They allege that the track ‘New Wu’ from Raekwon’s 2009 solo LP ‘Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Pt. II’ illegally samples a 12-second snippet, or “four measures”, from a 1971 song by The Magictones called ‘I’ve Changed’. The suit says: “These four measures have been sped up approximately 8.9%, making them last approximately 10 seconds and raising their key by one step from E minor to F# minor.”

Although the track was released by Raekwon, both Method Man and Ghostface Killah contributed verses for the song, while RZA took on production duties. Bridgeport Music and Westbound Records allege that this makes all four musicians guilty of direct copyright infringement, common-law copyright infringement, unfair competition, and misappropriation.

Various Wu-Tang Clan members are set to play themselves in the forthcoming biopic of late rapper Ol’ Dirty Bastard. The film, which is called Dirty White Boy, will star The Wire’s Michael K Williams in the lead role and RZA, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon and Method Man are all likely to take part in the project. In June, however, fellow member GZA definitively ruled himself out of appearing in the flick.