“E’ything proper still, right?” Raekwon asks at the beginning of his 2009 single “New Wu.” It seemed like a rhetorical boast at the time, but perhaps it was a question to producer RZA regarding the crunchy soul groove that he, Ghostface Killah, and Method Man are about to rap over. Because according to a lawsuit filed by Bridgeport Music and Westbound Records, the song illegally jacks four measures of 1971’s “I’ve Changed” by an obscure Detroit group called the Magictones. Wu-ps!
AllHipHop scooped the news and included a copy of the actual lawsuit. The document charges copyright infringement, unfair competition, and misappropriation, and displays a distinctly robotic understanding of sampling culture: “These four measures have been sped up approximately 8.9 percent, making them last approximately 10 seconds and raising their key by one step from E minor to F# minor.”
You make the call.
Magictones ‘I’ve Changed’
Raekwon ‘Nu Wu’