George Clinton accuses Black Eyed Peas of copyright infringement

They might be trying to get audiences to think about The Beginning with their new album, but the Black Eyed Peas need to straighten things out at The E.N.D. before they move along. Both Billboard and The Guardian are reporting that the Peas are being sued for allegedly sampling George Clinton’s 1979 hit single, “(Not Just) Knee Deep”, without clearance.

According to Clinton, & Co. used the sample on a remix of their 2003 hit, “Shut Up”, which Clinton’s lawyers claim sold over 8.5 million copies worldwide. The track also appeared as a bonus track on last year’s hit album, The E.N.D., and the report says the 69-year-old leader of the Parliament-Funkadelic is seeking “$150,000 per infringement and an injunction prohibiting further distribution of the infringing song.”

While accusations of copyright infringement aren’t necessarily uncommon in hip-hop and R&B, these charges are notable because they mark the fourth time in two years that another artist has accused the Los Angeles-based hit making machine of using unauthorized samples in their songs. The first incident happened in 2009 when a Brighton, UK DJ, Adam Freeland, accused the outfit of using the beat from his own song on one of The E.N.D.’ tracks.

More accusations fell at the feet of the Peas in October of this year when Texas songwriter Bryan Pringle and Illinois femme-cee Phoenix Phenom accused the Peas’ of willfully ripping off demos they had sent to Interscope Records. The label has been releasing Black Eyed Peas albums for over a decade, and lawsuits filed by Pringle and Phenom claim that “I Gotta Feeling” and “Boom Boom Pow” rip off their songs, “Take A Dive” and “Boom Dynamite”, respectively.

A quick listen of the songs makes a decent argument for the claims, but you can judge for yourself. All three comparisons are available below. Let us know what you think in the comments section.

George Clinton & P-Funk – “(Not Just) Knee Deep”

The Black Eyed Peas – “Shut Up (Remix)”

Bryan Pringle – “Take A Dive”

The Black Eyed Peas – “I Gotta Feeling”

Phoenix Phenom – “Boom Dynamite”

The Black Eyed Peas – “Boom Boom Pow”


Follow Consequence