Rapper Jay Z was hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit over the alleged illegal use of a sample in his Run This Town hit in a New York court on Wednesday (06Nov13). Bosses at TufAmerica Inc. claim the 99 Problems hitmaker illegally sampled the 1969 song Hook & Sling, by singer Eddie Bo and producer Al Scramuzza, for the 2009 single, which featured Rihanna and Kanye West.
The plaintiffs are seeking proceeds from the song and damages to be determined at trial, plus a court order to halt "further distribution and exploitation" of the track, according to the New York Daily News.
This is the third suit Jay Z and his label executives have faced recently - in March 2012, he and West reached a settlement with Syl Johnson over the use of samples from the song Different Strokes for their single The Joy, which was featured on the Watch the Throne album, and Jay Z is still battling a 2007 lawsuit with Osama Ahmed Fahmy over the sampling of Khosara, Khosara for his 2000 song Big Pimpin'.
It's not the only drama in Jay Z's life - he also recently faced public backlash over a curated fashion line with New York retailer Barneys, after associates were accused of racially profiling two black shoppers. Fans called for Jay Z to remove the line from stores and boycott the luxury retailer, but he has decided to move forward with the launch and exclusive cologne release through the store.
He is also currently under investigation by officials at the Major League Baseball Players Association for potentially violating conduct rules between agents and players after gifting New York Yankees star Robinson Cano, who is one of the new sports mogul's first clients, and expensive watch at a party in Belgium last month (Oct13).
While recent animated blockbusters have aimed to viewers of all ages starting with fantastical concepts and breathtaking visuals but tackling complex emotional issues along the way Ice Age: Continental Drift is crafted especially for the wee ones — and it works. Venturing back to prehistoric times once again the fourth Ice Age film paints broad strokes on the theme of familial relationships throwing in plenty of physical comedy along the way. The movie isn't that far off from one of the many Land Before Time direct-to-video sequels: not particularly innovative or necessary but harmless thrilling fun for anyone with a sense of humor. Unless they have a particular distaste for wooly mammoths the kids will love it.
Ice Age: Continental Drift continues to snowball its cartoon roster bringing back the original film's trio (Ray Romano as Manny the Mammoth Denis Leary as Diego the Sabertooth Tiger and John Leguizamo as Sid the Sloth) new faces acquired over the course of the franchise (Queen Latifah as Manny's wife Ellie) and a handful of new characters to spice things up everyone from Nicki Minaj as Manny's daughter Steffie to Wanda Sykes as Sid's wily grandma. The whole gang is living a pleasant existence as a herd with Manny's biggest problem being playing overbearing dad to the rebellious daughter. Teen mammoths they always want to go out and play by the waterfall! Whippersnappers.
The main thrust of the film comes when Scratch the Rat (whose silent comedy routines in the vein of Tex Avery/WB cartoons continue to be the series highlight) accidentally cracks the singular continent Pangea into the world we know today. Manny Diego and Sid find themselves stranded on an iceberg once again forced on a road trip journey of survival. The rest of the herd embarks to meet them giving Steffie time to realize the true meaning of friendship with help from her mole pal Louis (Josh Gad).
The ham-handed lessons may drag for those who've passed Kindergarten but Ice Age: Continental Drift is a lot of fun when the main gang crosses paths with a group of villainous pirates. (Back then monkeys rabbits and seals were hitting the high seas together pillaging via boat-shaped icebergs. Obviously.) Quickly Ice Age becomes an old school pirate adventure complete with maritime navigation buried treasure and sword fights. Gut (Peter Dinklage) an evil ape with a deadly... fingernail leads the evil-doers who pose an entertaining threat for the familiar bunch. Jennifer Lopez pops by as Gut's second-in-command Shira the White Tiger and the film's two cats have a chase scene that should rouse even the most apathetic adults. Hearing Dinklage (of Game of Thrones fame) belt out a pirate shanty may be worth the price of admission alone.
With solid action (that doesn't need the 3D addition) cartoony animation and gags out the wazoo Ice Age: Continental Drift is entertainment to enjoy with the whole family. Revelatory? Not quite. Until we get a feature length silent film of Scratch's acorn pursuit we may never see a "classic" Ice Age film but Continental Drift keeps it together long enough to tell a simple story with delightful flare that should hold attention spans of any length. Massive amounts of sugar not even required.
[Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox]