Kanye West is being sued over an unauthorised sample used on the “Donda 2” track “Flowers”.
The hip-hop legend, who legally changed his name to Ye, has been hit by the lawsuit by Chicago house legend Marshall Jefferson‘s publisher, Ultra International Music Publishing (UIMP).
Filed in a New York federal court earlier this week, Ye has been accused of using Jefferson’s 1986 track “Move Your Body”, without being granted permission or providing royalties.
According to the lawsuit, the sample is allegedly “repeated 22 times” on “Flowers”.
The “Jesus Walks” rapper is said to have told both Jefferson and UIMP that he is aware he’s used the track.
However, the lawsuit adds: “Despite this acknowledgement, West has not ceased distribution of ‘Flowers’. Defendants’ conduct is wilful and deliberate.”
It continued: “Defendants know and have been informed that they do not possess a license to utilise the composition in the unauthorised work, and yet continue to wilfully infringe, in blatant disregard of UIMP’s rights of ownership.”
The publisher wants Ye to remove the song from streaming services and is seeking a minimum of $150 000 in statutory damages per infringement, plus legal feels to compensate the loss of earnings from the usage.
Jefferson told Billboard his music has “been sampled thousands of times”.
The 62-year-old musician expressed that he is miffed that “a Black artist” and “a fellow Chicagoan” would take the liberty to use his work without paying him.
The “Good Morning” rapper was also previously sued by Texas Bishop David Paul Moten for sampling his sermons on the track “Come To Life”, from his 2021 LP “Donda”.
Ye has a history of upsetting fellow artists with his sample use.
In 2019, Chaka Khan confessed she felt “insulted” when he sampled her 1985 track “Through the Wire” on his 2005 breakthrough song of the same name.
Ye recorded the track with his jaw wired shut, following a car accident and although his story “got (her) heart”, she was less than impressed when she heard the finished single.
Khan, who had given him permission to sample the tune, recalled in 2019: “He called me when he got out of the hospital. He said: ‘You were so instrumental in my healing process.
“I had to change the words a little bit to the song, but I had to eat through a wire, you know, and I was wired shut, through a straw’.
“It meant that much to me, and it really got my heart.”
When she heard the song for the first time, the “Ain’t Nobody” hitmaker was furious when she heard the hook had been extremely sped up.
She said: “I was p****. I was a little insulted – not insulted, I thought it was stupid.”
The “I Feel For You” singer went on to admit that if she’d known he’d planned to change her vocals, she would have said “hell no” to him sampling her original song.
However, Khan, who admitted she’s made money from “Through the Wire”, has never told the 45-year-old star how she felt.
She explained: “I mean, what can I say?”