Kanye West Sued Over ‘Donda 2’ Sample – “No Shame in Taking Away Rights From Another Artist”

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Kanye West has racked up yet another lawsuit for unauthorized use of a sample in one of his Donda 2 tracks, “Flowers.”

According to a complaint, obtained by Billboard, filed in the U.S. District Court in New York, the song samples the 1986 club hit “Move Your Body” by Marshall Jefferson and is “repeated at least 22 times throughout.”

“West advocates for artists’ rights with one hand, yet has no shame in taking away rights from another artist with the other,” the suit says. It later calls the use of the sample “willful and deliberate,” claiming that West met with Jefferson’s publisher and admitted sampling the tune without obtaining proper clearance beforehand.

“Defendants know and have been informed that they do not possess a license to utilize the Composition in the Unauthorized Work, and yet continue to willfully infringe in blatant disregard of UIMP’s rights of ownership,” the suit continues.

Joining West in the suit is Alex Klein, co-creator of the Stem Player music device West used to release Donda 2. Ten unidentified individuals are referenced in the suit only as “Does 1-10.” According to Billboard, West previously claimed to have sold 11,000 Stem Players, generating an estimated $2.2 million in revenue.

Another Donda 2 track, “Come to Life” came under fire earlier this year in a suit from Bishop David P. Moten, who claimed a significant portion of the song was lifted from a sermon he delivered at a Victoria, Texas church in 2011. No resolution of that lawsuit has been announced.

In 2019, West was sued by Ronald Oslin Bobb-Semple after his voice was unlawfully sampled on the Kids See Ghosts Track “Freeee (Ghost Town Pt. 2).” That lawsuit was settled in January of last year.

Check out the two songs below.

(Photo by Rich Fury/VF20/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)

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