Kanye West’s sampling of a classic KRS-One song may cost him after he ignored the copyright owner’s lawsuit.
According to court documents obtained by AllHipHop, Phase One Network asked for an entry of default in its civil case against Ye on Thursday (January 11). The company sued Kanye West for using an uncleared sample of Boogie Down Productions’ “South Bronx” on the 2021 track “Life of the Party.”
Phase One, which owns much of the rights to Boogie Down Productions’ “South Bronx,” filed its lawsuit in November 2022. Ye’s label G.O.O.D. Music was served in December 2022 but never responded to the complaint.
“[G.O.O.D.] has failed to answer or otherwise respond to the complaint, which was properly served on [G.O.O.D.] by delivering a true copy of the complaint and summons to Robin-Hutt Banks of the Corporation Trust Company, the registered agent of [G.O.O.D.], on December 9, 2022, and proof was therefore filed on December 15, 2022,” Phase One’s attorney Sarah Matz wrote.
Ye’s “Life of the Party” appeared on the deluxe edition of Donda, which dropped in November 2021. The song was omitted from the original version of Donda released in August 2021.
Kanye West’s clearance agent allegedly sent a formal licensing request to Phase One for the “South Bronx” sample in July 2021. The two sides didn’t reach a deal.
“On November 10, 2021, with the parties still not having come to an agreement regarding a license to use South Bronx in the infringing track, the West Parties, through their clearance agent Mr. Weissman, requested that [Phase One] forward a license agreement for South Bronx, including their preferred terms,” Phase One claimed. “On November 16, 2021, the West Parties, through their clearance agent Mr. Weissman, formally retracted the July 15, 2021 license request to use South Bronx.”
Phase One obtained the rights to Boogie Down Productions’ “South Bronx” through a series of legal transfers. KRS-One is not a plaintiff in the lawsuit against Ye.
Kanye West was sued for copyright infringement. Phase One is seeking an injunction and damages.