This past October, soul veteran Syl Johnson sued Jay-Z and Kanye West, as well as Universal Music Group and Def Jam, for sampling his song “Different Strokes” without permission for “The Joy.” Last Thursday, the duo combated the lawsuit, denying the allegations though acknowledging that the song was released prior to Watch the Throne.

According to, Hov and ‘Ye cite federal copyright law, claiming that because the song was made before 1972 (when the law was enacted regarding covers), they were legally able to use it.

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“Any claim based on the alleged use of Plaintiffs’ recording is is barred because, inter alia, (a) the allegedly copied portion of the Plaintiff’s recording is not part of the musical composition; and, if it is part of the composition, (b) is not protectable and/or (c) any use was de minimus,” read the response, filed by their attorney Carrie Hall.

HipHopDX will keep you updated on the case as it unfolds.

RELATED: Syl Johnson Speaks On Jay-Z & Kanye West’s Uncleared Sample On “The Joy”