Nov 202010
Dj Danger Mouse
Image by miskan via Flickr

A Dan points us to a fascinating interview with Jay-Z on Fresh Air that’s worth listening to in its entirety.

However, there are a few quotes concerning copyright and sampling that are most interesting. For example, there’s a discussion about the infamous Grey Album — a mashup by DJ Danger Mouse mixing The Beatles’ White Album and Jay-Z’s Black Album. As you probably know, EMI went insane over this release, threatening to sue everyone — as it has done since then on otherBeatles mashups to this day. However, I can’t recall ever hearing anything, one way or the other, about Jay-Z’s opinion on the album, and it’s basically the opposite of the way EMI/The Beatles reacted (from about 12:50 in the interview):

Terry Gross: “So I’ve got to ask you how you feel about the Grey Album, which is the mash-up that Danger Mouse did of your Black Album and the Beatles’ White Album, without any copyright permission. So, how do you feel about it musically and how do you feel about the fact that he did it?”

Jay-Z: “I think it was a really strong album. I champion any form of creativity and that was a genius idea to do it, and it sparked so many others like it. There are other ones that, you know, it’s really good, there are other ones that, because of the blueprint that was set by him, that I think are a little better. But, you know, him being the first and having the idea; I thought it was genius.

Terry Gross: “Did you feel ripped off by the fact that he used your music on it without paying for it? Or did you think it doesn’t matter, it’s really good art.”

Jay-Z: “No, I was actually honored that, you know, someone took the time to mash those records up with Beatles records. I was honored to be on, you know, quote-unquote the same song with the Beatles.”

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