Mama Say What: Rihanna and Michael Jackson Sued For Makossa Songs

Rihanna and Michael Jackson are at the center of a legal battle over their sampling of the 1972 “Soul Makossa,” used in their videos/singles “Don’t Stop The Music” and “Wanna Be Startin’ Something”. According to published reports, a Cameroonian musician is suing Jackson and Rihanna in a Paris court, alleging they swiped a hook from one of his tunes. The suit, filed Tuesday by 75-year-old Manu Dibango, claims that Michael Jackson previously acknowledged using a section of Dibango’s 1972 track “Soul Makossa” as the riff on “Wanna Be Startin’ Something,” one of the hit singles from the Thriller album(1983). The two sides eventually reached a settlement over the unauthorized sample. Rihanna, who came to be involved in the dispute in a roundabout way with the release of “Don’t Stop The Music,” used the same license but no one bothered to obtain approval from Dibango. According to Agence France-Presse, a Parisian court will rule on Feb. 17 whether the case will move forward. Dibango’s attorneys are asking the court to block Sony BMG, EMI and Warner from profiting off the contested songs until the dispute is settled.

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