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Jay-Z Gets Animated, Then Sued

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So, that's what a hand-drawn Jay-Z looks like. He's definitely more debonair than cartoon Kanye, but not as suave as the animated Andre 3000. Jigga will make his cartoon debut this Sunday when he guest-voices a character on Warren Buffet's Hub TV animated series Secret Millionaires Club. Buffet's series teaches kids about the morals and ethics of the business world, as well as doles out advice to the future business leaders of America. This weekend's segment, "Be Cool to Your School," will kick-start a four-episode arc for Jay-Z, who is homeboys with the Oracle of Omaha. According to MTV's Rap Fix, the episode will find the rapper praising the show's main characters - Elena, Jones, and Radley - for raising money for their school.

Over at the Secret Millionaires Club site, there's one webisode that is especially pertinent to Jay-Z's situation: "The Domino Effect." For example: If you sample someone else's song without finalizing permission or providing appropriate compensation, the domino effect will always end in a lawsuit. In August, blues singer Syl Johnson threatened to sue Kanye West and Jay-Z after they failed to get clearance for the Watch the Throne bonus track "The Joy." Johnson's complaint was covered throughout the media, so you'd figure the Throne would have worked quickly to put the incident behind them. Well, they didn't -- though to their credit, they've had other things on their mind.

True to his word, Johnson is now officially suing the Throne after they failed to pay him and give him credit for sampling his "Different Strokes." As The Amp wrote in August, Kanye did secure permission to use the song when "The Joy" was supposed to be part of a My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy deluxe edition, but that didn't happen. Instead, "The Joy" wound up on WTT, without permission. Billboard reports that this isn't Johnson's first major lawsuit against a rap group: In 2008, he sued Cypress Hill for $29 million after that group sampled his 1969 song "Is It Because I'm Black" without getting it cleared. However, that suit was dismissed because the Copyright Act doesn't protect recordings made prior to 1972. "Different Strokes" was released in 1967, so Syl doesn't have much of a chance legally, but he's probably just hoping the threat of a lawsuit is enough to finally settle this situation.

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