Jay Z may “RunThis Town,” but a Manhattan record label wants to drag him into court.
TufAmerica Inc. socked the Brooklyn rapper and his record companies with a copyright infringement lawsuit Wednesday, claiming he illegally sampled a funky late 1960s jam without permission to jazz up the hit 2009 track “Run This Town.”
The miffed label argues Jay Z should face the music because it owns the exclusive rights to “Hook & Sling,” a 1969 number by singer Eddie Bo and producer Al Scramuzza.
“Life’s a game but it’s not fair,” Rihanna croons in the chorus. “I break the rules so I don’t care.”
The suit comes at a bad time for Brooklyn-born Jay Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter.
The superstar rhyme-maker is already under fire for his partnership with Barneys New York in the wake of multiple allegations by black shoppers that they were profiled by the high-end department store.
His rep did not immediately return a request for comment Wednesday.
The miffed label claims it bought the exclusive rights to “Hook & Sling” in 1996. The suit seeks proceeds from “Run This Town” and damages to be determined at trial, plus a court order to halt “further distribution and exploitation” of the Eddie Bo song.
The complaint names Jay Z, his Roc-A-Fella Records, LLC, Atlantic Recording Corp. and several other companies as defendants.
The suit is the third complaint filed by TufAmerica against Roc-A-Fella in Manhattan federal court this year. The parties settled both prior suits before trial.