Rapper Kanye West has found himself in legal hot water as he’s facing a lawsuit for alleged copyright infringement over sampling used in a Donda 2 track.
Ye is being sued by Marshall Jefferson over claims he used a sample from the house artist’s 1986 track Move Your Body on his song Flowers. Jefferson says his sample was used at least 22 times in Flowers and that West did not get permission to use it.
The complaint was filed on June 29 in New York’s District Court and was brought by Jefferson and his publisher Ultra International Music Publishing (UIMP).
Marshall Jefferson accuses Kanye West of ‘hypocrisy’ in lawsuit
According to Billboard, Jefferson is particularly aggrieved by West’s alleged “hypocrisy.” The complaint argues that West claims to “advocate for artists’ rights” but says that he has completely disregarded the right and proper process for sampling in this case.
Jefferson and UIMP also claim that they approached West’s representatives, who allegedly acknowledged that sampling from Move Your Body had been used without obtaining permission but were unrepentant about not giving any compensation.
The 62-year-old Jefferson told Billboard, “I’ve been sampled thousands of times. There is a right way and a wrong way to go about it. Getting done by another artist, a BLACK artist, a fellow Chicagoan without acknowledgment is disappointing.”
Also named as a defendant was Alex Klein, co-inventor of the MP3 Stem Player, which was the device that West exclusively released his Donda 2 album on. The player allows users to isolate certain “stems” in order to customize tunes; the alleged Move Your Body sample is one of these so-called stems.
Jefferson and UIMP are hoping to have damages awarded at a trial or they will accept damages of $150,000 per infringement.
Marshall Jefferson had a hit with Move Your Body in 1986
Jefferson’s Move Your Body initially became popular in the 80s Chicago club scene but went global after its release by Trax Records in 1986. It reached No. 34 on Billboard’s Dance Singles Sales chart.
Meanwhile, Kanye West claims that Donda 2 earned a whopping $2.2 million in just 24 hours on sales from the stem player.
West and his people have, so far, not commented on the case.
It’s clear that money is not an issue for the rapper. In a recent video, he claimed that he hasn’t touched real cash in about four years, to which an individual off-camera exclaimed, “real wealth!”
Kanye West is no stranger to a messy legal case, with a fourth lawyer recently quitting from working on his ongoing divorce case with Kim Kardashian.