George Clinton Wins Rights To Four Landmark Albums

George Clinton and

his George Clinton Enterprises won a major victory last week, when a court granted

Clinton complete rights and control of four influential albums, which he claimed

were swindled from him. On Thursday, United

States District Court Judge Manuel L. Real returned rights and control to four

albums produced: Hardcore Jollies, One Nation Under A Groove,

Uncle Jam Wants You and The Electric Spanking of War Babies.

Clinton received

the rights after a 15 year battle free and clear, with no obligations to any

of the previous owners.

The judge ruled

that Clinton was defrauded of his masters in a case of conspiracy involving

former employees, his lawyers and a former manager.

In various lawsuits,

the former employees claimed Clinton had signed the rights to his masters away.

Clinton denied

signing any masters and a document expert supported his denial. Five documents

that were alleged to be assignment papers were found to be cut-and-paste forgeries.

According to George

Clinton Enterprises, the victory is the start of Clinton regaining control over

his catalog and exposing the history of exploitation he has endured throughout

his career, which spans 5 decades.

Clinton often encouraged

rapper’s to sample his work despite not owning the rights to the catalog.

He produced two

albums, Sample Some of Dis and Sample Some of Dat, which allowed

artists to sample music without legal scrutiny.

Clinton spoke on

the issue over 14 years ago in an interview with the Houston Press.

“I suspect

that the industry again is trying to do to rap what they tried to do to funk,

and that’s kill it because it’s got to much information, and spreading of information,”

Clinton said in 1992. “So what we’ve done to keep them [the labels] from

all this stupidity, like trying to sue, or saying that I’m suing people, is

to put out a record called Sample Some of Dis and Sample Some of

Dat – just samples from alot of the old songs, because I have some of the

demos of those songs, which is not what the record company owns, so I can license

those to be sampled. We have a pay schedule that’s really easy to deal with

– if they sell records, they pay, if they don’t they can try again. We got to

make sure that rap survives, because it’s our only means of communication that

gets past the gatekeepers.”

Here is a “sample”

of the rappers who have incorporated material from just these

four albums Clinton produced into their own material: DJ Quik, Dr Dre,

EPMD, Ice Cube, LL Cool J, Steady B., Jeru tha Damaja, XClan, Too $hort, De

La Soul, Geto Boys, Paris, Snoop Dogg, Tone Loc, Yo-Yo, Eric B. & Rakim,

Slick Rick, etc.

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