Kanye West

Kanye West Hit With RICO/Copyright Infringement For Sampling Same Song Multiple Times


(AllHipHop News) Chicago rapper Kanye West and a number of record labels are the subject of a new copyright/RICO lawsuit, over the continued usage of a 1974 sample.

The rap star is being sued by Trena Steward and Lorenzo Pryor, who are the owners of the copyright for the song “Bumpin’ Bus Stop.”

The song was originally recorded by the siblings’ father, David Pryor of the music group Thunder & Lightning.

David Pryor died from various health conditions, in May 2006.

The brother and sister are suing for millions of dollars in damages, claiming Kanye illegally used a portion of the tune in his hit single “Gold Digger.”

According to the lawsuit, Kanye and various labels engaged in a 15-year “illegal copyright infringement scheme and criminal enterprise involving the unauthorized, willful sampling of plaintiffs original copyrighted music on a massive scale.”

Other record label’s named in the lawsuit include: Roc-a-Fella Records, Bad Boy Records, Stones Throw Records, Bomb Hip-Hop Records, Autumn Games, Activision, Caroline Distribution and The Island Def Jam Music Group.

Check out a copy of the lawsuit below:

  • Mr. One-9 Hitman

    There is a producers saying…. If you lock a producer in a room with one record, he will make many sample records but damn.

  • DJ7

    They trippin’….this song was NEVER a breakout hit to be trying to sue for millions….I overstand their argument but trying to get that much for something that few even knew exist is a bit over the top…but hey, get yours!!

    • justmythoughts

      but gold digger was a breakout hit

      • DJ7

        Reading is fundamental people “Bumpin’ Bus Stop” was what I was speaking on….geez

      • bigdoe6

        Doesn’t matter dumbass. This is case of copyright infringement. Don’t use my shit unless you get permission to. Using something of mine to make you rich without any agreement or clearance then i’m suing your ass. Lawyers don’t care about people feelings. This is all business here.

      • DJ7

        never seen you on here b4 so I’ll take it you’re trolling….By the way, I would bet my right eye that the words you typed in your 1st sentence to seem important would never pierce through your lips in person (not even the thought)….trust that dun…also, the DJ in my name does stand for just that (25 yrs in & still going) & the 7…..you see the flag…..you really don’t wanna test intellects to see who the real dumbass is?

      • And I believe what JustMyThoughts is speaking on is, the fact that it doesn’t matter if the original was a breakout hit, It helped create a breakout hit (Gold Digger).

      • justmythoughts

        exactly

    • maya

      We should sue you for using the word “overstand.”

      • DJ7

        1st off, who are these “we” that you speak of….gotta mouse in your pocket? 2nd, Go head, you’ll just be practicing troll!!

      • LOL~N @ Mouse in his pocket….making him jump

      • maya

        What the hell. Why should you be the only pretentious one?

      • DJ7

        Didn’t say I was b.u.t. I am pretty sharp on a plethora of subjects…come test

  • jay

    It’s to suspect that they waited this long to try this lawsuit bs. They’re just broke a$$ people looking for their lottery winnings.

    • heavyboy

      The reason people wait to sue is because they are waiting for the music to accumulate money. If someone sampled on of YOUR songs, and you sued them before it generated any real money, then you won’t be awarded much because no real “damages” have occurred. But if you wait and sue after the song has ran it’s course and generated a large amount of money, THEN you can receive damages.
      Damages=money….. it’s business*

      • bigdoe6

        Never waste time explaining anything to a dummy.

      • ^^This

        Although technically, you are supposed to take steps to mitigate the damage…IE: Cease & Desist letter

      • true thanks for the reality check folks

    • lottery winnings and getting money that is owed to someone for thier hardwork is two different things ….. lol

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  • Mike Swiff

    They’re doing it correctly you wait for the single to do what it do and then hit them for the money Kanye is nothing but a sample king none of this music is ever original since Kanye makes millions he should be able to pay millions for using someone else property…Good for them! and Good for you Kanye!

    • Tron

      Just because you sample doesn’t make it unoriginal. Everyone samples, it’s how you interpret & use the Music that counts. They might be entitled to some money, but I can guarantee they won’t see anything Big. IMO.

      • Severe Thebeneficent

        Thank you sir!! Its these new age nut ass niggas littering the inetrnet who look down on sampling as if its some kind of disgrace!The Niggas who look down CANT DO IT, period! just like these ABC rappers with no lyrics tend to hate lyricist and those who appreciate the actual art of it!! niggas got shit for brains and 1 hell of an opinion!

        “Niggas hate what they dont understand, fear what they cant conquer…”-Nas

      • Guest

        What you talking about.. im a producer.. i stopped

        sampling,, and my shit sounded real good..but at the end of the day
        i know if my shit is sampled im losing money if i land a single

      • if your a beat programmer than technically all your ish is sampled … you just arranged the notes … to truely be original .. you gotta play the note off an instrument …. but i dont knock any production style … live, programmed, sampled or even pc production … for me its about the end product … if the end product is good im with it …

      • greenhouse records

        This dude just dropped some KNOWLEDGE for you newbie “producers”. Some of these cats dont know wat a real producers is.

    • Severe Thebeneficent

      wtf u mean “none of his music is original”?? PLEASE elaborate…I know what you tryin to say… I just wanna hear you say it lol…

    • Weedras

      Sampling is a part of Hip Hop’s foundation… smh… Premier does a lot of sampling bet you wouldn’t call his shit unoriginal… Rappers delight was over ‘Good times’ beat and had a british group sample in it you wouldn’t say that was unoriginal either…

      • Nemesis_Enforcer

        But it was. Especially Rapper’s Delight.

      • blondellebisho

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      • he probably would cause premo comes from that class where all they did to the sample was added a kick and a snare … even all the way up to the just blaze days …. but what i liked about premo is he would find the most abstract ish to sample and made it sound ill … my favorite premo beat is Jeru The Damagas Come Clean where premo sampled an water drop and made it into a beat !! but that also goes to the concept of sampling in the 90s it was all about diggin in the crates finding them hidden jewels

    • Matt Swan

      If sampling is a crime or you can be sued for using one, the hell with Ye, go after P diffy, puffy, Sean John, or whatever he calls himself for a day. That mofo is the Don King of sampling. But you are absoloutely right tho

      • Yea its me

        Diddy/Puffy actually cleared all his samples. Ye did not. It is illegal to sample with out authorization.

      • Puffy didn’t clear all his samples. He might have with the Isleys, Mtmue, and The Police, but some of the Easy Mo Bee production is still not cleared. I just spoke with Bee about two weeks ago. Nobody knows what the sample for “Flava In Your Ear” is still to this day. So no, he didn’t clear all of them.

      • alot of times thats how producers get in trouble thinking the originators wont recognized you hijacked thier notes and arrangements …….

      • Matt Swan

        Diddily, Puff whatever made his money in the 90’s off the backs of artists from the 80’s and below. And he was sued a few times for samples that were not cleared. But look at his imprint now; when was the last true bad boy hit? His time has run out, so he became the smart buisnessman and diversed himself with Ciroc. Once upon a time you used to say Sean John jeans and they meant something. Now not so much. He rode his artists into the ground litteraly, and soon he will be no more as a “mover and shaker” in NY

    • Bumpy Johnson

      my friend top 30 hip hop songs ever are allllllllll sampled from the oldies…..actually rap got worse when they stopped sampling.

      • greenhouse records

        true

      • Bumpy Johnson

        u know i usually check whats the original song and end up loving the original.ride round the city jammin them oldies….zapp and rogers, earth wind and fire, isley brothers n’em

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  • The Kardashian curse is in full effect……..See how fast Kim dumps him for the next dude.

    • Weedras

      ‘curse? what type nonsense are you talking about? how does the Kardashians who weren’t even in the picture around the time of Gold digger’s production can cause this to happen… man! quit it…

  • THEBLACKCOUNCIL

    THEY WONT SEE A DIME

  • kristin

    The only people who will hate on this victimized artist and family is producers who use samples to make music illegally. Why use another persons record anyway? It seems like you should learn to play music if you wanna call yourself a great producer. Think about it, can you imagine how Kanye would act if someone stole one of his very few original beats?

    • Charles C. Bowen

      Soooooooooo…… DJ Premier,Dr. Dre,The Rza,Diamond D,Timbaland,Kanye,Buckwild,Havoc Etc. are no good because they dont play instruments?Listen kid,this aint the fuckin Voice this is hip hop it was built on samples

      • Weedras

        well said! they be bopping their heads to music and they don’t even know when its built off a sample or not…

      • >>In 300 Voice : “THIS>>….. IS>>…..RAP!!!!” >.Kicks @facebook-100003383329664:disqus into a bottomless pit filled with Justin Timberlake & K Fed singles

      • kristin

        there is a difference between grabbing a sample and looping one clown. using too many elements is how you get sued. thought you was smart didnt you. funny thing is, i come from a music family that makes money off of it. IM SURE i know more about it than ALL OF YOU, clown. You sound stupid. Just accept what has been done forever and never grow huh? This is why rap cant sustain itself. You clowns are still riding Premiers jock and he aint really do ish. F that, the groups I listen to play music, the roots, wyclef, and dancehall reggae, if you wanna listen to some kid with his moms records looped, so be it, with your plain, repetetive, mentality. LOSER! And for the record, RZA prefers instruments. ALL of them do actually, they just cant play them. Now go beat your MPC and fruity loops and dream of greatness!

    • Matt Swan

      Sure, but only person he could sue is Drakes sorry ass. The only way he got on was sounding JUST like Ye and wearing some horrific sweaters

      • kristin

        You know what i mean

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  • bigdoe6

    Man i don’t blame em, get that money. If you don’t get permission or clearance to use it, then don’t use it for financial gain. Simple as that.

  • wano

    if artists are making money from a sampled track then they should pay really especially the big labels that have legal people, they should know better..if they got sampled on some edm tune they would be cool with it right??? no..its not really about hip hop anymore anyway rap is big business in the states and everyone knows it, thats why most people are rapping and hip hop sucks these days..play the game!!

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  • Delonte West

    How many of y’all actually listened to the song?

    • Severe Thebeneficent

      been using that break for decades…its the
      “get down” that kanye uses…this should be like break beats 1o1 or something lol…
      2pac uses it in “I get around” also…the “step up” part…

      • i knew that part sounded familar just couldnt place it … thanks cause i was listening to the original like what was sampled here …. its def a nice funky song tho

  • NCcatsBALLhard

    I met a chick from South Africa that knew that song, no BS…

  • J-SMOOTH

    Gold Digger did not sample that shit. Those kidz are just some money grubbing peices of shit.

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  • Weedras

    $15million! and dude owned 24% of the song i hope the other owners are gonna benefit if they win…

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  • Jame Shivar

    Lawsuits take years to work out. Ya’ll dumb! This will go on another 10 years. Then they will be shit out of luck cuz of some new NO INFRINGEMENT law lol. Hip Hop was built off of sampling. Artist normally sample for something catchy. Kanye still a bitch! Fresh beats and homo lyrics!

  • Nemesis_Enforcer

    Im lost. RICO?

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  • I don’t agree with sampling lawsuits, and it’s a shame these artsits are sued. It’s B.S. because Hip-Hop was founded on the breaks. I’ve tried the legitimate route, and there’s so many people that won’t clear their samples or want six figures to clear it which is completely absurd. It’s not possible for the to sample working within these parameters. Yeah you can play instruments and replay the sample (which still has to be cleared), but there’s nothing like that stripped down funk to create what I call real Hip-Hop. As a result, I too will probably be on the list one day of sued producers.

    Because of all of the sample hoopla, people stopped doing it and it’s becoming more and more extinct. Once the corporations took over, the money game set in. The problem is this: You can’t have a 62 year old white man telling us what Hip-Hop is. He sees dollars and that’s it. That’s why I refuse to sign with ANY major and have remained independent.

    Salute To The Real Hip-Hop Heads!

    DJ Todd @djtodd1

    • hip hop might be founded on sampling … but the music of business was built on paying artist for thier intellectual property … which is a process that was created long before hip hop came along …. so if you want to sample and have big mainstream records you best have you paper work in order because a judge could careless what the foundation of hip hop is lol

    • beezy

      So, you want to be able to freely use people’s work without authorization or proper tribute? In other words, you want to be allowed to steal? C’mon man.

    • Mitchell Patterson

      Wait until you have a hit record and then in 10 years an all-gay rap group called the Dick Boyz samples one of your tunes. Bet money you’ll feel different.

      You don’t realize that’s how it feels to some of these cats (the new lyrics are totally against the artist’s views – that’s the point I’m making here) , so yeah they won’t clear it – unless it’s for an insane amount of money that they can justify to themselves.

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  • Slaughtr

    First of all many rappers and producers have been smashed with lawsuits and for the record Puff didn’t get all his samples cleared on Mary’s album My Life he paid for slippin.Dr Dre was sued for the sample he used for the truth single,Biz Markie sued for samples used on Diabolical Biz album which he later titled his next album all samples cleared.this shyt has went on forever.Hip hop has revived alot of careers so sampling isn’t bad it’s a good thing but not getting permission and paying to use will get you banged up financially so no it isn’t smart.Hip hop with or without samples is kool but some of these producers that people think are so great have just flat out stold but take credit for creating.Just like with todays so called mixtapes rappers spitting ady copyrighted material and getting under the table bread for someone else’s work that shyt is bogus and stealing.Lastly you have some producers who get other folks to make the beat pay them then smack their name on the product further making them look good while joe the beatmaker got a measly $4,000 dollars.It’s not the sampling it’s stealing =get permission or show you didn’t intenionally jack somebody’s music in your credits.

  • Slaughtr

    As much as this nigga talk about who the fck is broke today aint tomorrow so watch your tongue Kan.

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  • Fat_Face_Rick

    this is NOT a RICO case, it is a civil copyright infringement action in federal court that ALLEGES criminal copyright infringement. RICO is a federal criminal statute that applies to organized crime (not fake gangsters Kanye, et al) and can only be brought after indictment by the US government. There is very high probability that this case will be settled before it ever goes to trial.

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  • kristin

    Dont be mad because you arent creative and talented enough to play an instrument and make your own music. Tweak your instruments and make them sound how you want. How do you think the ORIGINAL artist made the songs? Sampling = lazy. On here defending people taking other peoples work is crazy. ITS STEALING< NO MATTER WHAT B#TCH!

    • we talking hip hop tho … samplin is of the essence of hip hop … altho things arent the same cause there were reason why folks sampled in the beginning of hip hop that arent valid these days in 2013 …. but seeing that its part of history aint nothing wrong with sampling as long as the music is good .. the only true downside to sampling is that it can seriously cut into your $$$$ as we are seeing here …… oh and if you didnt know folks sampled in hip hop because we couldnt afford instruments …. seeing that producers like Polo the don and Swizz beats got crazy mansions and ish i think by this time they can afford to buy an orchestra of instruments and also afford to pay someone to teach them how to play … lol and that also goes for alot of dudes coming up in the game …..

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  • Mitchell Patterson

    I know I’m going to sound old for saying this, but you gotta pay for samples! Especially when the original artist still actually owns the music.

    It’s no different than Elvis and Pat Boone stealing black artists music and not paying in the 1950’s.

    If it wasn’t for other people’s music Kanye wouldn’t even have a career! He said himself he started out with original music and was getting nowhere. When he started sampling he got put on.

    There’s nothing wrong with sampling, but you need to pay the original artists. It doesn’t matter who you are – Preemo, Pete Rock, Kanye, Blaze, Rza, Prince Paul, DJ Paul, they all gotta pay.

    These are the same guys that get pissed if you bootleg their CD – that is filled with other people’s music!

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