UPDATE: A rep for Jamie xx says “the sample has been cleared.”
UPDATE 2: Hayes retracted his statements to Billboard: “I was told about it but forgot.”
Jamie xx’s full-length debut In Colour is one of the finest albums of the year so far, and the Young Thug/Popcaan collab “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)” is its most instantly lovable single; we called it our favorite song of last week. The track is built around a sample from “Good Times,” a 1972 hit by Brooklyn a cappella group the Persuasions, but Persuasions aren’t credited on the song, and founding member/de facto manager Jimmy Hayes tells Billboard that no one contacted the group for permission to use the sample.
“I don’t want to think that these people just went on their own to sample our music without any notification to us,” Hayes said, adding that a few years ago a rep for Jamie xx did reach out to the Persuasions in vague terms: “One of the guys in [The Persuasions] was telling me that we talked to somebody from Jamie’s camp a few years ago over in England during a concert. They were talking about how they had an artist who was interested in the Persuasions, that he liked the Persuasions’ music and was interested in maybe doing some rap along with one of our songs, in sampling.”
Hayes told Billboard he’s a fan of the Fugees’ 1996 single “Killing Me Softly,” which interpolates Roberta Flack’s 1971 hit “Killing Me Softly With His Song,” and that he’s not opposed to sampling in general, he just wants his proper due: “I like the idea of the younger artists going back in time and dealing with what they call ‘old-school.’ It doesn’t bother me that they wanted to sample, but the thing is we have to sit down with management and make sure that everything is recognized and on the up-and-up.” And although he feels like Young Thug’s explicit lyrics miss the original song’s point, he doesn’t have any hard feelings toward the Jamie xx crew. Actually, he’s hoping for an opening spot on Jamie’s next tour and a chance to perform the newfangled “Good Times” together: “I’d like to meet the guy! I’m sure these guys are gonna be going on tour soon. If they’re going on tour, I’d like to go out with them. I’d like to be the opening act. We can do that same song on the stage, live.”