Drake and 21 Savage aren’t the only ones facing a lawsuit over their recent work. Drake’s former frenemy Kanye West has also been sued for copyright infringement, according to Rolling Stone, by Boogie Down Productions, the Bronx-based pioneer rap group fronted by KRS-One.
KRS filed suit over the Donda song “Life Of The Party,” which samples BDP’s 1987 song “South Bronx,” the lead single from the group’s debut studio album Criminal Minded. The lawsuit claims that after submitting a licensing request for the song July 15, 2021, he retracted the request on November 16, 2021 — after using the sampel on the final release, which dropped on August 29. Both Kanye West and Kano Computing Limited, the makers of Kanye’s Stem Player are named in the lawsuit, as well as G.O.O.D. Music, Def Jam Recordings, and Universal Music Group Recordings. Donda was Kanye’s final album under Def Jam.
The complaint says, “By illegally incorporating South Bronx into the Infringing Track and authorizing the distribution of the Infringing Track through the Stemplayer and its associated website, all Defendants have allowed for the widespread distribution of the Infringing Track and have direct financial interest in the same.” Meanwhile, a Stem spokesperson told Rolling Stone, “The KANO and STEM team were assured by Kanye and Yeezy that they would provide music with ‘all intellectual property rights, licenses and consents. This was important to us, because STEM is built from the ground up to be a more fair and immersive medium than the current music business. On STEM, creators own and control their own work, pricing, rights, and distribution in full. We just heard about this claim, and we are investigating it now.”
Kanye has been the target of numerous similar lawsuits over the years, especially for Donda. Earlier this year, a Texas minister sued Kanye for sampling one of his sermons on “Come To Life,” and the publisher for Marshall Jefferson’s 1986 house track “Move Your Body” sued Kanye for an uncleared sample on “Flowers” from Donda 2. West is also facing a lawsuit over the King Crimson sample on his 2010 hit “Power” from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.