Lil Wayne was sued last week in a Manhattan federal court as a publishing company accused the rapper of copyright infringement over a Rolling Stone sample used in his song “Playing With Fire,” from Tha Carter III.
The song’s collaborators, including producer Streetrunner, as well as Universal Music Group, were also named in the suit.
Wayne’s engineer, Fabian Marasciullo, explained how the song’s original sample, based on a track by the Rolling Stones, was scrapped last minute. The song was re-recorded and added as a late addition to Tha Carter III. The lawsuit, however, contests Wayne’s lyrics in the song.
“There wasn’t no way [the sample] was gonna get cleared and everyone was tripping about it,” Marasciullo told XXLmag.com. “Streetrunner went back in, unbeknownst to Wayne, got Betty Wright, replayed the guitars on the record. Up until the day before mastering it wasn’t on the album. We were in New York playing the album and I was like, What about “Playing with Fire?” It was one of the records I really enjoyed listening to the whole thing.
“Wayne was like, ‘We can’t get it cleared, We can’t use it,’ ” he continued. “I told him he re-did it and Wayne was so excited. It cost Universal so much money because the artwork was done already; they printed almost 2 million copies of the album to ship out. And Wayne was like, ‘No, make it happen.’ I was watching people from the label scrambling to put the shit on there.”
Representatives for Lil Wayne have not commented on the suit as of press time.—LaTisha Robbins, with additional reporting by Jayson Rodriguez