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'Cost' Cutter

Caller sues Snoop Dogg over voice mail song sample. Snoop's caller fears for his life, now that his voice has been used on a track that disses Suge Knight

Can appearing on a Snoop Dogg album get you killed? One man thinks so, and Reuters reports that he's suing the rapper for unauthorized use of his sampled voice on last year's ''Paid tha Cost to Be tha Bo$$'' According to a suit filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, the anonymous plaintiff is afraid for his life because of Snoop's use of his voice, sampled from a supportive phone call left on the rapper's voice mail, in a dis track aimed at Snoop's onetime mentor, gangsta rap mogul Suge Knight.

The caller said in the suit that he left a message of support for Snoop (real name: Calvin Broadus) in his ongoing war of words against Knight, whose Death Row Records (now Tha Row) the rapper left after a falling-out a few years ago. The caller said he had no idea his voice would appear on the track ''Pimp Slapp'd.'' He said he asked Snoop in January why he used the voice message, and that Snoop answered, ''It was so real.'' Unfortunately, the suit contends, ''it is so real that [the] plaintiff now fears for his life... Mr. Knight is a burly, convicted felon and is rumored to be involved with gangs, to threaten, assault and hurt people.'' He is seeking damages and injunctions to stop further distribution of the record.

Neither Snoop nor his labels -- Priority Records, Capitol Records and Doggy Style Records, all named as defendants -- has commented on the suit. Neither has Knight, who was released from jail last month after serving two months for violating parole by associating with alleged gang members.

Originally posted Mar 27, 2003