Dr. L’Antoinette Stines, a Jamaican multi-hyphenate, has filed a lawsuit against Beyoncé and JAY-Z for using her vocals on their song “Black Effect.” According to CNN and TMZ, the veteran dancer/choreographer is suing The Carters for copyright infringement and violating her right of publicity over the cut from 2018’s EVERYTHING IS LOVE album, which received a perfect rating from HipHopDX. Stines, who is heard on the track’s opening speech, claims she was never given credit or compensation for her contribution to “Black Effect.”
She alleges Beyoncé and Hov asked her to record an interview about her views on love but said it would only be used for promotional purposes. After hearing her words used for the first minute of the song, she notes she felt “violated. The lawsuit says Stines was recruited by The Carters to provide dancers for a promotional video in March 2018.
She admits she signed a contract for her services on the day of the shoot but didn’t have an opportunity to have a lawyer review it. Reps for Beyoncé and JAY-Z allegedly told Stines not to worry because it was just a “standard document that everyone had to sign.” But when she says when she asked if she could send a photo of the contract to her son, who’s a lawyer, she was “explicitly told that she could not send a picture of the agreement to anyone to review.”
Stines is seeking a writing credit and the royalties that come with it for her speech on “Black Effect,” which appears on an album that was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 2019. She’s also asking for an unspecific amount in damages.
Listen to “Black Effect” by The Carters below.