Pastor sues Kanye West, saying ‘Donda’ track ripped off sermon

By Reuters

FILE PHOTO: Rapper Kanye West gestures to the crowd as he holds his first rally in support of his presidential bid in North Charleston, South Carolina, U.S. July 19, 2020.  REUTERS/Randall Hill/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Rapper Kanye West gestures to the crowd as he holds his first rally in support of his presidential bid in North Charleston, South Carolina, U.S. July 19, 2020. REUTERS/Randall Hill/File Photo

A Texas minister is suing Kanye West, saying the rapper, producer and entrepreneur used a recording of one of his sermons without permission in the song “Come to Life”.

Dallas County, Texas, pastor David Paul Moten sued West, his label Universal Music Group, and its subsidiaries Def Jam Recordings and the West-founded G.O.O.D. Music on Tuesday in Dallas federal court. The copyright infringement lawsuit says at least two sections of “Come to Life” feature excerpts from Moten’s sermon.

UMG and an attorney for Moten did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the lawsuit. West, who legally changed his name to Ye last year, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Moten claims samples from his sermon comprise over 20% of “Come to Life”, which appeared on West’s hit album “Donda” last year. Named for West’s late mother, “Donda” went to the top of the Billboard charts and was nominated for a Grammy award for album of the year.

Moten said in the lawsuit that West has shown an “alarming pattern” of “willfully and egregiously sampling sound recordings of others without consent”.

West has previously settled lawsuits over samples of a Hungarian singer on the 2013 song “New Slaves”, a child’s prayer on the 2016 song “Ultralight Beam,” and a theatre work about Jamaican activist Marcus Garvey on “Freeee (Ghost Town Pt. 2)”, a 2018 collaboration with rapper Kid Cudi.

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