Syleena Johnson Addresses Kanye West & Jay-Z Lawsuit
Legendary soul singer Syl Johnson's daughter Syleena Johnson has addressed her father's lawsuit against Jay-Z and Kanye West, who allegedly sampled his 1967 single, 'Different Strokes,' without his permission on 'The Joy,' a bonus track on their joint LP, 'Watch the Throne.'
Syleena, a Grammy-nominated singer in her own right, appeared on Sirius XM show Sway in the Morning last week to discuss her father's lawsuit, which she claimed was not targeted at Jay and Kanye, but rather at the song's producer Pete Rock, and the record labels associated with 'Watch the Throne,' Roc Nation, Roc-a-Fella and Def Jam.
"It'd be cool if everybody would stop saying, 'Your dad is suing Kanye,' because I don't really feel like that's the case," Syleena explained. "It's not necessarily that Kanye did the record ... It's to my understanding that Pete Rock did the beat, but of course it looks cooler to say, 'Oh, Syl Johnson is suing Kanye and Jay-Z.' Jay-Z probably doesn't even know anything about the beat!"
Ironically, Syleena has worked with Kanye in the past, singing an interpolation of a Lauryn Hill sample that Kanye had been unable to clear for his Grammy-nominated single 'All Falls Down,' which was released via Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam in 2004.
"I think that his issue is not necessarily with them [Kanye and Jay-Z], it's with the label, because it's their responsibility to get the clearance for the song," Syleena continued, defending her father's position on the suit. "When I talk to my dad, he's not like 'I'm gonna get Kanye, or I'm gonna get Jay-Z.' Real talk, if somebody samples Kanye or Jay-Z, or whoever else, I'm sure they would go after the person for their money, too."
The lawsuit, which was inspired by archival soul-funk label the Numero Group, who were mistakenly credited as Johnson's publisher in the 'Watch the Throne' liner notes, states that Kanye had previously attempted to clear the sample for his 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy' album, but was unable, and instead tacked it onto 'Watch the Throne' as a bonus.
Meanwhile, Kanye and Jay-Z will finally kick off their Watch the Throne tour on Oct. 28, in Atlanta.