Kendrick Lamar for JET Magazine

11 Musicians That Have Faced Lawsuits Over Songs They Sampled

artists with sample lawsuit

Samples are often used to bring a track to life and make it stand out. Before these sounds and vocals are borrowed, permission is supposed to be given by the original creators. Many of our favorites drop the ball and fail to acquire the proper sampling rights before lacing their songs with these catchy hook and instrumental accents. Once these tracks blow up, the originators come knocking and hurl out million dollar lawsuits. Browse to see 11 rappers and singers who didn’t get away with sampling songs without permission.

All Photos: Getty Images

Drake lawsuit

Back in April, OVO’s own faced a $300,000 lawsuit for not properly attributing the intro of his song “Pound Cake” from his third album, Nothing Was the Same. The lawsuit from the late musician’s estate claims that Drizzy didn’t give props to jazz musician Jimmy Smith for using his “Jimmy Smith Rap,” which was recorded in 1982.

kanye west lawsuit

Yeezy failed to get the permission from singer Ricky Spicer to use his voice on his Yeezus single “Bound 2” which led to him getting hit with a lawsuit. Spicer demanded either getting compensation or that Kanye cease and desist from using his voice. Spicer said he recorded the original vocals on a song called “Bound” in the ‘70s while in group The Ponderosa Twins Plus One and named Ye, Roc-A-Fella Records, Island Def Jam and Rhino Entertainment in his lawsuit.

Jay Z Lawsuit

Last year, Hova was sued by the deceased singer Eddie Bo’s estate for using his voice on the 2009 hit “Run This Town” featuring Rihanna and his (former?) BFF Kanye West. The lawsuit claims that Eddie Bo’s 1969 song “Hook and Sling Part 1” was used for the track without any authorization. This month Jay Z requested that the case be dismissed. After all, the only thing Jay took from the song was the word “Oh.”

Ludacris Lawsuit

In January, David Banner and Ludacris faced a copyright infringement lawsuit for allegedly using a sample from singer Tyrone Davis’ 1979 hit “Be With Me” for the 2010 song “Be With You.” Luda claims that there was no sample used and that the song is entirely original but Davis begged to differ.

frank ocean

In February, Frank Ocean was slapped with a lawsuit from TufAmerica for sampling Mary J. Blige’s hit “Real Love” for his song “Super Rich Kids” for his 2012 album, Channel Orange. The lawsuit also named Universal Music Group and Def Jam in the lawsuit saying that the "Defendants have failed and refused to secure a license from TufAmerica for its share of the rights to use 'Real Love' in “Super Rich Kids.” TufAmerica owns 3.15 percent of “Real Love” in case you were wondering.

carly rae jepsen lawsuit

Singer Carly Rae Jepsen was sued by Ukrainian singer Aza for sampling her Christmas song  “Hunky Santa” for her 2012 hit “Call Me Maybe.” In the lawsuit, Aza claims that Carly Rae ripped off her whole song and just tweaked the lyrics.
Katy Perry Lawsuit

Besides receiving backlash for the "Dark Horse" video, Katy Perry was also hit with a lawsuit from the Gospel rap group Flame. The St. Louis collective, which Christian rapper Lecrae was a part of,  claimed that Perry sampled their song "Joyful Noise" that was released in 2008 without asking.

Biggie Lawsuit

Singer Lee Hutson, who is the former lead singer of  the 70s group The Impressions, sued the estate of the late Notorious B.I.G earlier this year for using a sample from his 1973 song “Can’t Say Enough About Mom” for his Method Man-assisted track “The What.”

50 Cent Lawsuit

Robert Poindexter of 70s singing group The Persuaders filed a lawsuit against 50 Cent in 2012 for using  a sample from the group’s “Love Gonna Pack Up and Walk Out” for his 2009 song “Redrum.” The song was a mixtape titled Wardrum that Fif gave away for free online. Poindexter was demanding that he be paid $600,000 in punitive damages.

Rick Ross lawsuit

In 2013, gospel songwriters Clara Shepperd Warwick and Jimmy Lee Weary  came for the bawse Rick Ross. Allegedly, Rozay sampled a song they wrote for Crowns of  Glory  called “I’m So Grateful (Keep in Touch)” for his 2012 song “3 Kings” from God Forgives, I Don’t. Weary claimed he was not contacted to be asked for permission nor was he compensated. The song also features Dr. Dre and Jay Z, who were also named in the suit.

Kendrick Lamar Lawsuit

Back in July, K. Dot was hit with a lawsuit from Woolfsongs Unlimited, who manages 80s act Eric Woolfson and his band The Aaron Parson Project. They claim that the Compton native used their 1982 track “Old and Wise” for Section.80’s “Keisha’s Song (Her Pain)” without acquiring the proper sampling rights. In September, another lawsuit popped up when musicians Eric Reed and Willie Jones III  sued the good kid for allegedly using their song “The Thorn” for his 2011 track “Rigamortis”also from Section.80. The two said that Lamar used their song “The Thorn” and did not credit them or ask to use their song as a sample. Reed and Jones III are seeking all the rights and profits to “Rigamortis” along with $1 million.

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Singer Whitney Houston is seen performing on stage during the 2004 World Music Awards at the Thomas and Mack Center on September 15, 2004 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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Whitney Houston's Close Friend Robyn Crawford Details Romantic Relationship In New Memoir

Whitney Houston's personal life has been explored ten times over since her untimely passing in 2012 but one of her closest friends wants to share with the world the Whitney she knew and ultimately fell in love with.

In excerpts to People Wednesday (Nov. 6), Robyn Crawford presents a strong bond between the two in her new memoir, A Song For You: My Life With Whitney Houston. The singer and Crawford met in their youth while working at a summer camp in East Orange, New Jersey. From there, their friendship blossomed into something more romantic. With homophobia running rampant in the 80s, Crawford says they never looked at labels but enjoyed the experiences they shared together.

“We never talked about labels, like lesbian or gay,” writes Crawford. “We just lived our lives and I hoped it could go on that way forever.”

As their journey continued, Whitney's star began to rise which put allegedly put their romance on ice. “She said we shouldn’t be physical anymore,” writes Crawford. "Because it would make our journey even more difficult. She said if people find out about us, they would use this against us....and back in the ’80s, that’s how it felt. I kept it safe. I found comfort in my silence.”

Whitney's relationship with Crawford was mentioned in the 2018 documentary Whitney. Created by the singer's estate, the film focused on the singer's legacy and didn't include first-hand accounts from Crawford. Family members were weary of their special friendship.

"I’ve never seen them do anything but I know that she was something that I didn’t want my sister to be involved with," Whitney's brother Gary stated in the documentary.

But Crawford is finally ready to tell her own story while "lifting" Houston's legacy.

“I wanted to lift her legacy, give her respect and share the story of who she was before the fame, and in that, to embrace our friendship,” she tells People. "I'd come to the point where I felt the need to stand up for our friendship. And I felt an urgency to stand up and share the woman behind the incredible talent."

A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston is expected to hit bookshelves this fall.

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Keke Wyatt Announces That She's Pregnant With Her Tenth Child

Keke Wyatt has news to share that concerns expanding her family tree. On Monday (Oct. 14), the "If Only You Knew" singer revealed that she's pregnant with her tenth child.

"My husband Zackariah Darring and I are so happy to announce that we are expecting our new bundle of joy!" she wrote on Instagram. "We are excited to welcome the 10th addition to our beautiful family."

The vocalist continued to state that fans can follow her pregnancy journey on her YouTube series The Keke Show where she gives an intimate look at how she balances her career and motherhood.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

My husband Zackariah Darring and I are so happy to announce that we are expecting our new bundle of joy! We are excited to welcome the 10th addition to our beautiful family. Stay tuned for the release date & information for my new YouTube Series “The Keke Show” where you will see me balancing Wife, Mommy and Artist!!! Trust me.. it’s never a dull moment with my family. Love ya sugars💋💋💋 photo credit: @keever_west Styled/Designed by: @keever_west Asst: @freddyoart

A post shared by Keke Wyatt (@keke_wyatt) on Oct 14, 2019 at 4:43pm PDT

In an interview with The Christian Post, Wyatt said she believes she has "an anointing with motherhood" and looks at her children as fuel to keep striving in her career.

"I just don't believe in shutting down. I believe in that's what the Lord had for me," she said. "Babies don't get in the way of careers, we get in the way of careers. If that's what the Lord had for me from the very beginning, there's nothing nobody can do and nobody can say."

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Summer Walker's Debut Album Inspires Drake To Write New Music

Summer Walker's debut album Over It has everyone's heart aflutter, including Drake.

Off the heels of her debut project, the Atlanta songstress shared Drake's admiration for her project Sunday (Oct. 6) which included collaborations from Jhene Aiko, Usher. 6LACK and Bryson Tiller. Drake had a strong reaction to "Fun Girl," a track that speaks to the acoustic aura of her precious project, CLEAR.

Sharing his love with more than a few emojis, the rapper reveals the song inspired him to pen two new songs at the crack of dawn.

 

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So I guess fun girl is his favorite song on the album, mines isss... BODY🥰 what’s yours ?

A post shared by Summer Walker (@summerwalker) on Oct 6, 2019 at 3:02pm PDT

Summer and Drake worked together for the remix to her breakout hit, "Girls Need Love." In Billboard's  “You Should Know” series, the singer says the two met via Instagram after he gushed about her visuals to the original track. "He said, 'I saw your video on a bowling alley monitor. Thought it was cool,'" she recalled. She added it was Love Renaissance's Justice Baiden who talked her into asking Drake for the remix. The singer is signed to the label along with Grammy-nominated singer 6LACK.

Things have been looking great for the singer. Her album has topped Spotify and YouTube since it's release Friday and is expected to make a nice debut on Billboard's 200 charts.

Get to know the men behind Love Renaissance in our feature, LVRN's Reebok Collaboration Showcases Atlanta's Influence In Fashion.

 

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