Multi-award winning rapper Tay Grin has been implicated in a copyright infringement case where little known rapper Zizipizgani Beza aka Zizi-B is accusing him of redoing the recently released Chipapapa song.
Last week, the self-styled Nyau King, born Limbani Kalilani, released Chipapapa, which features the Nigerian legendary singer 2Face.
But Zizi-B, a Form Four student at Pact Secondary School in Blantyre, claims to have produced the song earlier in December last year with Twin Beats at 123 Records.
“I gave it to Marcus Pasanje [a DJ] for airing at Joy FM. He, however, asked for a remix. But the next thing I heard was that Tay Grin had also done Chipapapa.
“Upon listening to the song, I realised that Tay Grin had redone my song. The hook is the same. He has only changed the concept,” said the 19-year-old musician.
Zizi-B said he wants justice to prevail, if at all possible, in protecting his intellectual property.
“I suspect that money exchanged hands. If that was done then it’s very unfair to an up-and-coming artist like me who needs mentoring to do it big in the industry,” he said.
Pasanje, also known as DJ Mbuzi, admitted receiving the song last year, but dispelled any fears that he might have leaked the song.
“It’s true I received the song for airing. It is a song with a good concept, but I thought it was very raw and needed more mixing. That is why I was not playing it.
“To suspect any foul play would be unfair because it’s a childhood song that can be done by anybody. You cannot claim ownership with such songs. It would be suspicious if I was the one who produced it with Tay Grin,” he said.
Pasanje said he is arranging for an interview with Tay Grin this week to clear the air on the accusations.
Tay Grin, in an interview on Sunday, denied the allegations, saying he does not reproduce songs without the owner’s permission.
“Chipapapa is a childhood song that no one can claim ownership. It is my trademark that I reproduce old songs. If such songs were done by a particular person as was the case with Chinafuna M’bale, I seek for permission.
“But for Chipapapa I don’t think it was done by anybody else. As for the allegations, my song was done by DJ Sley. I have not met Marcus anywhere else to share with me the song. And the artist in question, I don’t know him or his songs,” said the musician.
However, both of the songs, which The Nation has listened to, have a similar hook, although Tay Grin’s is modified with traditional beats.
Zizi-B, in the song, tackles the plight of street kids who find solace in playing a childhood game, chipapapa.
Tay Grin’s Chipapapa is a feel good song that tackles issues of love.
In an interview yesterday, Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma) senior licensing officer Rosario Kamanga said they would only act if it has been established that there has been a violation.
“If he brings the songs to us, first we must establish that there has been a violation and thereafter the law provides recourse,” he said.