Bootleg hip-hop Queen remix takes on EMI

Source: LONDON (Reuters) Friday September 24, 06:20 PM

Submitted by: vinny22567

LONDON (Reuters) - What do you get when you cross the music of '70s glam rockers Queen with rap pioneer Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five?

Answer: 'A Night at the Hip-hopera,' an unauthorised remix album that it is shaping up as the latest 'copyright nightmare' for the beleaguered music industry.

The illicit remix from British DJs The Kleptones, which combines Queen songs such as 'Another One Bites the Dust' and 'We Will Rock You' with music from hip-hop legends including KRS-One and Africa Bambaataa, is the latest shot across the bow of music giant EMI.

It comes seven months after EMI, which owns the rights to Queen's recordings, took action to stop distribution of its best known band, the Beatles.

DJ Danger Mouse's 'Grey Album' mixed the Fab Four's 'White Album' with rapper Jay-Z's 'Black Album.' EMI forced that mix out of stores, but it spread far and wide on the Internet.

The new Queen remix album, available on several Web sites, opens with the mocking statement, 'This digital recording is brought to you courtesy of EMI Records, the world's greatest music company', and includes a report by ABC News anchor Peter Jennings with the comment 'one more copyright nightmare for the music industry'.

EMI was not available for comment.

'A Night at the Hip-Hopera' also includes snippets from Justin Timberlake and the Monkees as well as excerpts from films 'The Big Lebowski' and 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off.'

Sampling other artists has been one of the foundations of hip-hop, but since '60s rockers the Turtles sued hip-hop sampling pioneers De La Soul in the early 1990s, artists have had to obtain permission from copyright holders.

Earlier this month, a U.S. court ruled that artists must pay for every sample they use, no matter how short or unrecognisable.