5 Times Kanye West Was Hit with Lawsuits Similar to Bishop David Paul Moten’s
Kanye West is being sued by Bishop David Paul Moten, claiming the rapper filled out his song ‘Come To Life’ with audio of Moten’s own religious speech.
According to TMZ, the outlet obtained court papers where Morten wrote his sermon is used for 70 seconds of the 310 seconds track, which is over 20 percent of the song.
‘Come To Life’ begins with the recording of Moten going, “My soul cries hallelujah and I thank God for saving me.” Parts of the same recording repeatedly play in various parts of the song.
Because of this, West has been accused of sampling Moten’s sermons without his permission. However, this is not a one-time occurrence for West, as he has been embroiled in similar lawsuits in the past.
Here’s a look at five other times when West’s samplings for his songs landed him in similar situations.
‘Power’ Sparked a Lawsuit against Universal Music Group
West’s 2010 track ‘Power’ resulted in a lawsuit against Universal Music Group over its sampling of progressive rock band King Crimson’s ‘21st Century Schizoid Man.’
Declan Colgan Music Ltd (DCM), which owned the mechanical rights for the original version of ‘21st Century Schizoid Man,’ claimed that UMG had been underpaying on streaming royalties arising from ‘Power.’
King Crimson performing '21st Century Schizoid Man.' (Source: YouTube)
UMG and DCM had previously signed an agreement that paid DCM 5.33% royalty on each copy of ‘Power’ that was sold or ‘otherwise exploited.’
DCM later stated in their lawsuit that UMG “has failed, and continues to fail, to comply with its royalty accounting obligations in respect of one mode of exploitation, namely the making available of the Power recording to consumers through so-called ‘streaming services.’”
Copyright Infringement Claims on ‘Free’
The lawsuit claimed that West and his collaborators used Bobb-Semple’s version, “[exploiting] the actual voice, words, and performance of Bobb-Semple, without authorization,” on their track ‘Free’ from West and Kudi’s album Kids See Ghosts.
West and his collaborators fired back against the lawsuit, saying the use of Bobb-Semple’s work fell under “fair use” and was also defended by the First Amendment.
Fame Enterprises’ Lawsuit Against Kanye West
Barely a month after Bobb-Semple filed a lawsuit against West, Fame Enterprises hit West with a lawsuit of their own.
The company stated that West and Pusha T’s 2018 hit ‘Come Back Baby’ contained “repeated, unauthorized, [and] unlicensed samples” from George Jackson’s ‘I Can’t Do Without You.’
‘Come Back Baby’ used Jackson’s recording in the chorus, and Fame Enterprises requested the disgorgement of profits, compensatory, consequential, incidental, and punitive damages, among other charges that were to be determined by the trier.
Hungarian Singer Sued Kanye West for $2.5 Million
Hungarian rock singer and composer Gabor Presser accused West of sampling his 1969 track ‘Gyongyhaju Lany’ — which translates to ‘Pearls in Her Hair’ — without permission in ‘New Slaves.’
Kanye West performing 'New Slaves' at SNL. (Source: YouTube)
The sample was used for 85 seconds across ‘New Slaves,’ and Presser sought $2.5 million of damages for copyright infringement.
It was later reported that West and Presser had resolved the lawsuit amicably, but the finer details of their deal were not made public.
Kanye West and UMG Sued over ‘Life Of Pablo’
West and UMG were sued in 2019 over a short spoken-word recording that appeared at the start of West’s ‘Life Of Pablo’ track.
The recording featured the voice of a young child in prayer and was sampled from an Instagram video uploaded by the child’s mother back in 2016.
Though West’s team had approached the mother, Alice T. Johnson, about sampling the audio from the Instagram video, the child’s adoptive parents argued Johnson did not have the authority to allow the girl’s voice to be used in the recording.