Jay-Z has found himself in another feud. This time, it’s not with a rival rapper, but with R&B singer Toni Braxton. The diminutive diva is beefing with Jigga because she says he stole her song. Well, not exactly her song. It’s Tupac Shakur’s song, ”Me and My Girlfriend.” Braxton covers the song and includes a sample of Tupac’s vocal on her upcoming CD, ”More Than a Woman,” due Nov. 19. Problem is, Jay-Z used the same sample on ”Bonnie & Clyde,” his duet with Destiny’s Child’s Beyoncé Knowles, from his upcoming album ”Blueprint 2 — The Gift and the Curse,” due a week before Braxton’s record.
According to MTV, Braxton’s track was coproduced by Murder Inc.’s Irv Gotti and Chink Santana. Chris Chambers, a representative of Arista, Braxton’s label, told the New York Daily News that Braxton invited a friend, Def Jam label chief Kevin Liles, to hear her song last month. But Def Jam is Jay-Z’s label, and Chambers told the Daily News that Braxton believes Liles leaked the song to the rapper. ”When you listen to them, they are the same song,” Chambers said. ”She thinks it’s unethical.”
In fact, Braxton phoned New York radio station WBLF to complain. ”Jay-Z and Beyoncé are messing with my money. They’re trying to steal my mojo,” she reportedly said. ”I’m not hating on Beyoncé or anything, but I have kids to feed and this is taking money out of their college funds.” Braxton, who has one child, is pregnant with a second. Jay-Z, Knowles, and Def Jam have not commented on Braxton’s accusation.
If Braxton is right, her song wouldn’t be the first Gotti-produced track leaked from one diva to another artist. Last spring, Gotti acknowledged that his remix of Jennifer Lopez’ ”I’m Real” into a duet with Ja Rule was inspired by his own previous pairing of Mariah Carey and the rapper for Carey’s track ”If We” on her ”Glitter” CD. Gotti’s admission, in XXL magazine, lent credence to Carey’s complaint that her ex-husband, Sony honcho Tommy Mottola, was grooming J. Lo to sound like her. When Mottola asked him to put Ja Rule on the J. Lo single, Gotti said, ”I immediately knew what he was doing because we just finished the Mariah record.”