J Dilla Is Being Sued Over A Sample From ‘Donuts’

Donuts was released three days before J Dilla passed in 2006.

J Dilla is being sued in a copyright infringement lawsuit alleging that he sampled a rock band’s song without their permission.

In a report from Rolling Stone, the lawsuit accuses Dilla of illegally sampling 10cc’s “The Worst Band in the World,” a song from the English rock band’s 1974 album Sheet Music, for his song “Workinonit,” which appeared on Donuts. The plaintiffs — Music Sales Corporation and publisher Man-Ken Music, Ltd. initially filed the complaint back in March, and amended it in April. They claim that Dilla, as well as other defendants listed (Universal Music, E.P.H.C.Y. Publishing, and label Stones Throw Records), did not “obtain or seek to obtain” permission to sample 10cc’s song.

Per Rolling Stone:

Music Sales Corp says it is entitled to compensatory damages for the “deliberate, willful, malicious, oppressive” action — as well as the profits earned by defendants for at least the last three years, and it seeks compensation to cover attorneys’ fees and other costs related to the suit.

The suit also notes “Workinonit” being used by Netflix in two separate Dave Chappelle specials: Deep in the Heart of Texas and The Age of Spin.

In a separate report from Pitchfork, the complaint claims that defendants licensed the song to Netflix after “being informed of its infringing content.” Following its use, a demand letter was sent to defendants on July 18, 2017 regarding the licensing of the track, however “the parties have been unable to reach any resolution, thus requiring the filing of this action.”

Released in 2006, Donuts was Dilla’s final album before he passed on February 10, 2006.

Elijah C. Watson

Elijah Watson serves as Okayplayer's News & Culture Editor. When he's not writing he's listening to Sade and crying or watching My Hero Academia with his partner.

Published by
Elijah C. Watson

Recent Posts

Here’s What Critics Are Saying About New Will Smith Film ‘Emancipation’

The embargo for new Will Smith film Emancipation has lifted. Some critics are calling Smith's portrayal of… Read More

December 1, 2022

Flying Lotus Talks New Audible Podcast & Gives Update on Next Film, ‘Ash’

 Flying Lotus spoke to Okayplayer about Alice Coltrane, spirituality, composing for film and television and… Read More

December 1, 2022

Erykah Badu Talks Hip-Hop With Bronx Rapper Ice Spice

Joined by her eldest daughter Puma Curry, Erykah Badu interviewed Ice Spice on what a… Read More

December 1, 2022

Kanye West Praises Hitler During Outrageous Appearance on Alex Jones’ ‘Infowars’

On Thursday, Kanye West spoke to right-wing and conspiracy theorist radio host Alex Jones about… Read More

December 1, 2022

A Bruce Lee Biopic is in the Works

Mason Lee, son of acclaimed director Ang Lee, is set to star in a biopic… Read More

December 1, 2022

Dapper Dan on Trying to “Destigmatize” the Hoodie

 On the eve of the release of his latest GAP hoodie, we briefly spoke to… Read More

November 30, 2022