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In a Manhattan civil suit has revealed a new case involving the Carter-Knowles Dynasty. After Jay Z recently had a lawsuit brought against him for illegal sampling dismissed, a Hungarian folk singer named Monika Miczura Juhasz is now bringing charges against the missus. Juhasz, known as "Mitsou," claims that Beyoncé ripped off her vocals during parts of "Drunk in Love." The suit also named Hov, who's featured on the track, along with producer Timbaland.
Mitsou alleges that Beyoncé recorded her singing a traditional Roma song called "Bajba, Bajba Pelem" in 1995, and digitally manipulated that recording into the wild female vocal sample that you hear at the beginning of "Drunk in Love." Overall, she's claiming that 29 percent of Beyoncé's song should be credited to her.
“Following Mitsou’s stirring featured solo vocal introduction, Mitsou’s voice continues to sing as Beyoncé begins to sing, to evoke foreign eroticism alongside the sexually intense lyrics performed by Beyoncé and Jay Z in ‘Drunk in Love'," says the suit. It continues to say that the sample was used, "to evoke foreign eroticism alongside the sexually intense lyrics performed by Beyoncé and Jay Z."
That's great and all, but what does "Bajba, Bajba Pelem" sound like? It's not listed under "Drunk in Love" on Who Sampled. It's not on iTunes. The English version called “Gypsy Life on the Road” (which was identified by Mitsou in the suit), was released by North Pacific Records in 1997, and doesn't exist online. A song named "Bajba, Bajba," by Hungarian folk group Ando Drom, however, is on YouTube:
Mitsou, of course, is a former member and soloist of Ando Drom. (Get your Hungarian folk music knowledge up, kids.) Could this be the song that's sampled in "Drunk in Love"? Back in February, "Drunk in Love" producer Detail did mention in an interview with Complex that Beyoncé was heavily involved in adding to his original production, which would circumstantially support Mitsou's claim about Beyoncé recording her in 1995 and then using the recording for "Drunk in Love." (Not sure if a 14-year-old Beyoncé was scheming like that, but whatever.)
It's difficult—impossible, really—to say either way at this point (Beyoncé has yet to respond to the suit), but compare for yourself.
As Desus would say: "Gotta hear both sides."