Jay-Z and Timbaland are being sued by soul singer Ernie Hines for copyright infringement over the use of his 1970 single “Help Me Put Out the Flame (In My Heart)” on two separate songs released 20 years ago, documents filed in U.S. District Court in New York reveal.
In the suit, filed on May 18, Hines claims that “Help Me,” which he co-wrote and composed, was sampled on both Jay-Z’s song “Paper Chase” from his 1998 album Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life and Ginuwine’s “Toe 2 Toe” from his 1999 album 100% Ginuwine, without his knowledge or consent and with no financial benefit to him. Both songs were composed and produced by Timbaland.
The 81-year-old also alleges that the infringement was “willful,” citing the credits for “Paper Chase” on Jay-Z’s streaming service TIDAL, which he claims list the “Help Me” sample. Hines is asking for a dollar amount “to be determined by the Court,” in addition to interest, attorneys fees and other relief the court “deems just and equitable.”
Other defendants named in the suit include Jay-Z’s Roc-A-Fella Records, Def Jam Recordings and Universal Music Group (the labels behind “Paper Chase”) and Sony Music Holdings, which released “Toe 2 Toe.” Ginuwine (a.k.a. Elgin Lumpkin) was not named as a defendant.
photo: Jay-Z by Joella Marano CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons