09 October 2002

stolen from bill:
Not a sample sale?

Toni Braxton is accusing hitmaking couple Jay-Z and Beyoncé Knowles of "lifting" one of her songs.

A few months ago, expectant mother Braxton recorded "Me and My Boyfriend" (which samples Tupac Shakur's "Me and My Girlfriend") for her CD "More than a Woman," which is due out next month.

Braxton's Arista Records rep, Chris Chambers, tells us that Braxton offered Def Jam Records president Kevin Liles, a friend, the chance to hear the completed track early.

According to Chambers, Braxton believes Liles "played it for [Def Jam artist] Jay-Z" and that the rapper and his new love interest, Knowles, cribbed the Tupac sample and a melody from Baxton for their duet "Bonnie and Clyde."

"When you listen to them, they are the same song," claims Chambers. "She [Braxton] thinks it's unethical."

A Def Jam rep had no comment at press time.

i remember a similar 'disagreement' transpired between ice cube and cypress hill, the latter claiming the former stole a beat of theirs that they'd played for him the studio. this situation is interesting because, in olden days, r&b artists used to make the beats that rappers stole: in this scenario, an r&b singer is claiming that a rapper stole a beat that she in turn stole from another rapper. now, i tend to like it when r&b acts jack hip-hop beats -- besides being turnabout-is-fair-play, it's almost like a bootleg, airy vocals and melodies contrasting with a hard-hitting track. what i no longer care for are acts who utilize a beat that was once an r&b song but a song that only became popular after it was used by a hip-hop artist, e.g. ashanti's "foolish." it's the same kind of recycling that makes "heaven (candlelight remix)" insipid, viz. power-ballad-cum-lame-dance-cum-power-ballad-all-over-again.

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