Notorious B.I.G.'s Estate Sued By R&B Singer For Sample Used In "The What"

Notorious B.I.G.'s Estate Sued By R&B Singer For Sample Used In "The What"

Lee Hutson alleges that 20 year-old song "The What" unlawfully sampled his 1973 song "Can't Say Enough About Mom"

Sometimes, it's immediately obvious where samples come from, but other times, it takes twenty years to correctly identify them. That's the case with Notorious B.I.G.'s "The What," which was released in 1994 but is just now being targeted in a lawsuit by R&B singer Leroy Hutson for its sample of his song "Can't Say Enough About Mom."

The former member of The Impressions filed a copyright infringement suit on Tuesday in Manhattan federal court, demanding “50 percent ownership in the Biggie song as well as 50 percent of income attributable to it,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. In 2012, Hutson sent a "cease and desist" letter to Bad Boy Records after first learning of the sample in question, but said it went ignored.

Two days prior to Hutson's suit, Biggie's estate (widow Faith Evans and his mother Voletta Wallace) filed a preemptive suit in an attempt to protect "The What," stating that Hutson's "accusations are without merit."

"The What," released on the album Ready To Die, appears to sample the last few notes of Hutson's song, with producer Easy Mo Bee looping them continuously throughout the Method Man-assisted track. Do you think Hutson has a case? Listen to both tracks below and let us know your thoughts in the comments section. 

For more on samples throughout hip-hop history, check out our recent feature on unexpected samples.

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