EXCLUSIVE: Kanye West Defaults In Lawsuit Over Boogie Down Productions Sample

Kanye Ye West

Phase One Network, which owns the copyright of Boogie Down Productions’ “South Bronx,” sued Kanye West in 2022.

Kanye West failed to respond to a lawsuit accusing him of sampling Boogie Down Productions’ song “South Bronx” without permission.

According to documents obtained by AllHipHop, the Clerk of Court for the Southern District of New York submitted an entry of default in the case on Wednesday (March 8). Phase One Network, which owns the copyright for “South Bronx,” requested an entry of default in January.

“I, Ruby J. Krajick, Clerk of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, do hereby certify that this action was commenced on November 7, 2022 with the filing of a summons and complaint, a copy of the summons and complaint was served on defendant Ye f/k/a Kanye West d/b/a ‘Yeezy Tech’ (‘Defendant Ye’) by delivery of a true copy of each to Defendant Ye, and proof was therefore filed on January 26, 2023,” the filing read. “I further certify that the docket entries indicate that Defendant Ye has failed to plead or otherwise defend the action. The default of Defendant Ye is hereby noted.”

Phase One sued Kanye West, Kano Computing, Def Jam Recordings and others for copyright infringement in 2022. The company claimed Ye never cleared the “South Bronx” sample used in his song “Life of the Party.”

Kanye West allegedly released the track on the Stem Player despite a failed attempt to secure a licensing agreement. A clearance agent sent a request to Phase One in July 2021 before retracting it in November 2021.

“The West parties retracted the licensing request despite having already incorporated ‘South Bronx’ into the Infringing Track, distributed the infringing track through the Stem Player and its associated website, and incorporated the Infringing Track into the Infringing Advertisements,” Phase One’s attorneys wrote in the lawsuit.

Kanye West’s “Life of the Party” leaked in September 2021. The Andre 3000-assisted track was officially released on the deluxe edition of Donda in November 2021.