Kendrick Lamar Facing Copyright Lawsuit For Allegedly Using A Bill Withers Song Without Permission
Mattie Music Group, Company Behind, Bill Withers Has Opened Up A Kendrick Lamar Copyright Infringement Lawsuit
Making music is all fun and games until you realize that there is so much more to this industry than just the flashing stage lights and screaming fans. Of course, they tell you about the benefits, but do they tell you about the business ups and downs? No. A new Kendrick Lamar copyright infringement lawsuit may help put some of the business side on center stage.
So many artists come into this business without knowing the logistics behind it all—and for a young Kendrick Lamar, apparently, that was the case.
In 2009, the Compton rapper released his self-titled EP, Kendrick Lamar. Now, seven years later, the EP may be a forgotten work for his fans, but it has resurfaced… in court. To say the least, things aren’t looking so good either.
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According to Mattie Music Group (MMG)—a company that owns the rights to Bill Withers’ 1975 song, “Don’t Want You To Stay,”—the rapper violated serious copyright rules.
MMG claims that Kendrick Lamar’s “I Do This”—which is from the aforementioned EP, is a complete replica of Withers’ “Don’t Want You To Stay.” With their Kendrick Lamar copyright infringement legal claims, the music group has filed a lawsuit against the rapper and is suing for damages. They would also like for him to stop using the track—basically meaning he has to remove it from all his sites, and future releases.
The question is, is the song a replica? We’ll let you be the judge.
Honestly, despite the altered and modernized beat, the song does seem to sound very similar. However, this isn’t the first time the rapper has flipped a Bill Withers sample.
Rappers/Producers, Pac Div told XXL in a 2012 interview that they also lifted a drum/rimshot sample from Bill Withers’ “Use Me” for Kendrick Lamar’s “Sing About Me/I’m Dying Of Thirst.”
XXL: “I love the drum/rimshot sample from Bill Withers’ “Use Me” you flipped on that song—it’s a slept-on break.
Pac Div: You can’t deny that break! The thing is, it’s not so much how used the break is, it’s what you do with it—what you’re going to do with the sample, how you’re gonna chop the sample up, and if you’re gonna play some keys over it. It’s just a marriage. You can’t deny it. Every time I hear those open drums on the Bill Withers song I’m like, “Oh my God.”
XXL: How did you end up landing that beat on Kendrick’s album?
Pac Div: Kendrick is a good friend of ours, and we were on tour with Mac Miller last Thanksgiving, and I made that beat on Thanksgiving night. And I sent it to him, just because I send him beats normally, and he hit me up that same night like, “You don’t understand, man. I got the room with the lights down and the candles goin’ and I’m creatin’ right now.” Then he called me again, like, “Dude—give me the stems for that and like three other joints.” So I sent him a batch of records and he recorded like four or five of them and that one ended up making the album. I didn’t know the album was going to be as big as it is—you know? It outsold Ross the first week. I’m glad to be a part of it.”
Being that lawsuits can get pretty ugly at times, we hope that Mattie Music and Kendrick Lamar can at least come to some kind agreement. You may recall that Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams recently had to pay over $7 million to the Marvin Gaye estate for illegal use of a sample on their “Blurred Lines” song.
After all, the last thing anyone needs is a nasty lawsuit on their hands. Hopefully this Kendrick Lamar copyright infringement claim clears up any misleading information young artists receive about using samples. Yes, you can be sued for using someone else’s material on a free mixtape or EP. Especially if the song helps you make money…