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George Clinton Suing Black Eyed Peas Over ‘Shut Up’

Paul Warner, Getty Images

Funk icon George Clinton is preparing to clash with international pop stars Black Eyed Peas for stealing portions of his single ‘(Not Just) Knee Deep’ for usage in their remix to the 2003 hit single ‘Shut Up.’ The multi-million dollar copyright infringement suit was filed on December 10 in the United States District Court for the Central District of California and claims that the Peas used an uncleared sample in the track, which ended up selling a reported 8.5 million copies on vinyl, digital formats and the DVD release ‘Love From Sydney to Vegas.’

The case could get potentially messy on multiple fronts. According to reports, Clinton’s signature was forged in a battle to clear the sample. The funk godfather claims that he never signed a contact and has not agreed to any terms for the sample. Even after being notified, Will.i.am and his crew released another version of the single on the deluxe version of ‘The E.N.D.’ without sending word over to Clinton.

The group also contacted Clinton to license a sample of the song in 2009 for another usage before he realized that they had already jacked his work on the 2003 track. ‘(Not Just) Knee Deep’ originally appeared on Clinton’s ‘Uncle Jam Wants You’ record with his legendary group Funkadelic.

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