As most rap fans are well aware, Kanye West is a prolific sampler. Early on in his career when he made a living producing beats for artists like Jay-Z and Nas the vintage soul samples that he would flip, loop, and chop became his sonic calling card. West continued to utilizing sampling throughout his career and, over the years, has expanded his sampling range to include not only older songs but speeches and spoken word. A prime example of this is “Who Will Survive in America” from 2010’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy which samples Gil Scott-Heron’s “Comment No. 1.” It appears, however, that one of West’s more recent sampling experiments may have landed him in some legal trouble.
On Thursday, TMZ reported that West is being sued for using an unauthorized sample on Kids See Ghosts, his collaborative album with Kid Cudi which was released last summer. A man named Ronald Oslin Bobb-Semple claims that West and Cudi interpolated his voice on the track “Freeee (Ghost Town, Pt. 2) without his permission and is suing the pair along with Ty Dolla Sign, who is a featured performer on the track is also credited as a songwriter.
The sample in question is apparently a portion of a 45-minute presentation that Bobb-Semple regularly performs in tribute to early 20th-century black labor leader and political activist Marcus Garvey. Bobb-Semple claims that while West, Cudi, and Dolla sign have reaped profits from the track, he hasn’t seen a dime. He’s suing for a portion of the song’s profits.