“Freeee (Ghost Town, Pt. 2)” is one of the standout tracks from last year’s Kids See Ghosts, the joint album released by Kanye West and his longtime collaborator Kid Cudi. The song opens with an excerpt of a recording of a 2002 performance called “The Spirit of Marcus Garvey (Garvey speaks to an all-Black audience)” performed by the actor and performer Ronald Oslin Bobb-Semple. In March, Bobb-Semple sued West along with the two other performers on the track, Kid Cudi and Ty Dolla Sign, as well Def Jam and Universal Music Group. He claimed that the sample of his performance was used without his permission and that he received no compensation for its use.
It appears West has finally responded to the suit. On Tuesday, The Blast reported that the G.O.O.D. Music founder is asking a court to dismiss all claims against him in the case. West reportedly admitted to sampling the Bobb-Semple’s performance without the actor’s permission but felt that he did not need authorization because he believes the work falls under fair use. West believes he is innocent of any wrongdoing and wants the entire lawsuit thrown of court immediately.
This is not the first time West has been accused of improperly crediting a sample. In February, the 41-year-old was sued by the legal guardians of the little girl whose voice can be heard prominently on his song “Ultralight Beam.” The couple claimed that while West and his team received permission from the child’s biological mother, they did not have their permission to use the little girl’s voice. They believe they are owed a portion of the song’s royalties.