Rapper RZA has fired back at the bosses of a rights acquisition company suing him for infringement by filing his own lawsuit.
The Wu Tang Clan star was accused of illegally using a Meiko Kaji piano sample on Kanye West's Dark Fantasy track, but he insists the legal action from JVC Kenwood Holdings executives is bogus.
Rza claims the lawsuit has already cost him $55,000 (£34,400) in royalty money - because record label bosses at Def Jam withheld the payment after the claim was filed, and he is now going after JVC Kenwood and Teichiku Entertainment for lost earnings.
The rapper/turned filmmaker's lawyer Howard King tells The Hollywood Reporter, "We see dozens of baseless copyright-infringement claims against our clients every year. Rather than engaging in costly and fruitless dialogue trying to convince claimants and their contingency lawyers that our clients do not succumb to extortion and settle ridiculous claims, we have decided to commence declaratory relief actions to squash some of these claims and, perhaps, recover our costs."
He adds, "Rza did not use Teichiku's piano run, and it sounds different from the one in Dark Fantasy. In fact, it would have been technologically impossible to sample the piano run without the rest of the music in Gincho Watadori, and the piano run in Gincho is so simple that the least talented person in the studio could have replayed it had anyone wished to do so."
Rza produced the track which appears on West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album.