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Beastie Boys Hit With a Lawsuit Over Samples on ‘Licensed to Ill’ + ‘Paul’s Boutique’

Beastie Boys
Bryan Bedder, Getty Images

This is very poor timing. The Beastie Boys were slapped with a copyright-infringement lawsuit just one day before group member Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch passed away. According to, Tuf America filed the lawsuit on May 3 claiming the group unlawfully sampled portions of Trouble Funk’s songs on two of their classic albums.

The re-issue label alleges in their suit that Trouble Funk’s 1982 track ‘Drop the Bomb’ was illegally sampled on two ‘Licensed to Ill’ songs, ‘Hold It Now, Hit It’ and ‘The New Style.’ Tuf America also accuses the Beastie Boys of sampling Trouble Funk’s 1986 track ‘Say What’ on ‘Shadrach,’ as well as ‘Drop the Bomb’ on ‘Car Thief,’ both appearing on the trio’s second LP ‘Paul’s Boutique.’

Tuf America’s lawsuit states that sound analysis were conducted on the songs in question and they surmised that the Beastie Boys did indeed sampled the songs without permission. Therefore, the company wants a trial so a judge can determine how much punitive and exemplary damages should be awarded to them.

This lawsuit comes at an extremely bad time when the remaining Beastie Boys are currently in mourning over the death of Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch. Let’s hope this matter gets settled amicably so the group’s music can last forever in our hearts and ears.

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