Kanye West, a rapper, producer, and businessman who officially changed his name to Ye last year, was accused of illegally sampling a song by Marshall Jefferson on Wednesday. ‘Flowers’ from West’s album ‘Donda 2’ allegedly contains a sample from Jefferson’s 1986 dance song ‘Move Your Body’ that is played at least 22 times, according to Ultra International Music Publishing LLC.
When contacted for comment, neither Kanye West’s agent nor his record company Universal Music Group—which is not a party to the lawsuit—responded right away.
The business that owns the rights to Jefferson’s song, Ultra International, through an attorney, stated that it had no more comment and thought the complaint spoke for itself.
Chicago-born Jefferson is credited with creating house music. West is his hometown. In conversations with Jefferson, West and his reps allegedly admitted that “Flowers” sampled “Move Your Body,” but they allegedly did not obtain permission.
The lawsuit said that while West “advocates for artists’ rights with one hand, yet has no guilt in taking rights away from another artist with the other.”
In February, West made “Donda 2” available only through his Stem Player, a portable gadget that enables users to separate and reassemble song components.
A request for comment was not immediately answered by Kano Computing Ltd, a British business that created the Stem Player with West and is also included in the case.
According to the lawsuit, “Flowers” is allegedly about West’s ex-wife Kim Kardashian, whose petition to dissolve their marriage was granted in March.
In May, West was accused of stealing a lecture from Texas pastor David Paul Moten without his consent.
In the past, West has settled legal disputes over the use of samples from other artists, including a Hungarian singer on the 2013 song “New Slaves,” a child’s prayer on the 2016 song “Ultralight Beam,” and a play about activist Marcus Garvey on the 2018 song “Freeee (Ghost Town Pt. 2)” with rapper Kid Cudi.