A lawsuit has been filed against Chicago native and rapper Common for copyright infringement over a song that was featured on his 1992 debut Can I Borrow A Dollar?
The track, titled “Take it EZ,” allegedly has trails of another song called “When Will the Day Come,” according to its songwriters Andrew Marks and London McDaniels. They stated that the rapper had failed to gain permission to sample their work although he gave them credit in the footnotes of the song. Through documents filed in court Monday, the two have demanded unspecified damages from the rapper for not obtaining the appropriate authorization to use the sample.
Common had openly admitted to the fact that he sampled their tune and cited it as being an inspiration. The downloadable version of the song, Common attached a tag line to it that read, “Contains samples from ‘When Will the Day Come.’’’
Starting his career under the alias Common Sense, the song “Take it EZ” was able to establish his name in the underground scene and propel his career in the mainstream Hip-Hop circle. Ranking in at #5 on the Hot Rap Singles chart, this would be the most popular single from his debut. Common has continued to maintain in the transition of Hip-Hop since he first appeared 17 years ago.
This would not be the first time he dealt with issues over sampling. In 2008, fellow Chicago rapper Kanye West was hit with a lawsuit over sample clearances. He was sued for lifting the drum break from Jazz saxophonists’ Joe Farrell’s recording of Upon This Rock. The suit was filed by his daughter who cited the break being used in such songs as West’s “Gone” and Common’s “Chi-City” from his album Be in 2005.
Well Common let’s just be glad it’s not 1992 because it looks like you might need to borrow more than a dollar if this one hits the fan.