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Chicago soul singer says that Kanye and Jay-Z stole his song

Bryan Alaspa's picture

Syl Johnson is a well-known soul singer and performer in the Chicago area, but he says he as shocked to hear West’s and Jay-Z’s new album blatantly ripped him off.

West and Jay-Z’s latest collaboration and album is entitled "Watch the Throne" and it was released earlier this year. According to Johnson, he was stunned to hear the track "The Joy" because he says it sounds exactly like his song called "Different Strokes." He also says that West and Jay-Z did not get his permission to use the track.

According to Chicago’s NBC affiliate, a Chicago company that specializes in preserving a re-issuing old music, films and photography announced that they were approached by Def Jam records to use a sample of the song. When the group was first approached, the idea was for the track to be used on West’s album “My Beautiful Twisted Fantasy” which was released in 2010.

At that time, however, the track was never released. No agreement was ever reached between Johnson and West for use of the track. Then , on Monday night, the group that had been approached back in 2010, The Numero Group, received a tearful phone call from Johnson when he heard his vocal on the track.

On the album the credit for the track goes to the Numero Group, which is not correct. As such, Johnson isn’t getting royalties from the use of the song.

So far the group and Johnson have taken their plea to the media. What legal action will be taken remains to be seen, but it seems very likely. Numero says that they have not gotten a response from West’s camp or the sample clearing house as to what happened or why the track was used on the latest album.

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