Blues and Soul artist Syl Johnson recently spoke with NBC in Chicago to speak about a qualm he has with Kanye West. Johnson said Kanye West “blew it” by not obtaining proper permission from him to use his sound in the recording of the Pete Rock-produced “The Joy,” a track originally released through Yeezy’s G.O.O.D. Fridays series and later as a bonus cut on special editions versions of Watch the Throne, Ye’s collaborative project with Jay-Z.
“I think Kanye West, kind of, he blew it,” he said of West. “He knows me, he knows my daughter, Syleena Johnson. And hey, for a few, you know, a small amount – do it in front like Kid Rock, Wu-Tang Clan and all the people behind me.”
Syleena Johnson was featured on West’s debut College Dropout as the singer on “All Falls Down.” She rerecorded Ms. Lauryn Hill’s vocal sample and was featured on the official release. On the track, West compares Syleena Johnson to “the safe belt” for “saving” his life.
When asked if he feels West stole from him, Johnson responded by saying he was not compensated for the track in any way.
“Well, they didn’t pay me. They used my style, my sound, my likeness…without my permission.”
Understanding copyright laws, Johnson says he feels law suits are not his “thing,” but that “this is the law.”
“I hate to sue people. I’ve sued quite a few people. But, it ain’t my thing to sue them. But, this is the law. This is a country of laws.”
For more from Johnson’s interview with NBC, check below.
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