The executors of late rapper Notorious B.I.G.'s estate have been slapped with a copyright infringement lawsuit.

Soul singer Leroy Hutson is seeking unspecified monetary damages after claiming the slain star, real name Christopher Wallace, sampled his 1973 song Can't Say Enough About Mom without permission on his 1994 track The What.

Hutson alleges he sent a cease-and-desist letter to bosses at Biggie's record company Bad Boy Entertainment in 2012, demanding they stop selling any albums featuring the song, but he never received a response.

His filing in a Manhattan federal court on Tuesday (01Apr14), comes a day after Biggie's estate officials filed a preemptive lawsuit, in which they asked a judge to bar Hutson's publishers from taking their own legal action.

The hip-hop icon's representatives admit the track was sampled, but insist it equates to 'fair use', as only "two nonsequential tones" were featured in the song.

Biggie's estate is managed by his mother, Voletta Wallace, and his widow, singer Faith Evans.