A day before the Beastie Boys lost their one of their founding members, Adam "MCA" Yauch on May 4, the group was hit with a lawsuit for copyright infringement.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in New York by TufAmerica on May 3, according to The Hollywood Reporter. In the suit the company claims it has exclusive rights over the recordings of "Say What" and "Drop the Bomb" performed by the band Trouble Funk. The suit says the songs were sampled illegally on the Beastie Boys 1986 album "License to Ill" and the 1989 album "Paul's Boutique."
The songs in question are "Hold It Now Hit It" and "The New Style" off "Licensed to Ill," which TufAmerica claims samples "Drop the Bomb" and "Shadrach" off "Paul's Boutique," which allegedly samples Trouble Funk's "Say What."
Universal Music and Capitol Records are also named in the lawsuit. TufAmerica claims that neither the band nor the record label disclosed to them that samples from the Trouble Funk songs were used and that the Beastie Boys "purposely concealed" the samples.
"The manner in which the 'Say What' sample was incorporated as a part of the words and music that make up the 'Shadrach' recording effectively concealed to the casual listener the fact that the 'Say What' sample was part of 'Shadrach,'" The lawsuit states, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
TufAmerica also claims that they conducted "careful audio analysis" of "Shadrach" to back up their claims. "Paul's Boutique" was re-released in 2009. The company is suing for copyright infringement, unjust enrichment and misappropriation and is asking for unspecified damages, which will be decided at the trial.
Beastie Boys rapper MCA, whose real name is Adam Yauch, died at the age of 47 after battling cancer for almost three years.
Yauch was a founding member of the hip-hop trio Beastie Boys, which consists of Michael Diamond, Adam Yauch and Adam Horovitz, formed in the late 1970s and achieved commercial success with the 1987 rock anthem "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)." They later incorporated more electronic sounds, spurring the 1995 hit "Intergalactic."
Yauch is survived by his wife Dechen, his daughter Tenzin Losel and his parents Frances and Noel Yauch.