A Texas pastor is suing Kanye West for using part of one of his sermons without permission, according to TMZ. Bishop David Paul Moten is sampled on the Donda song “Come To Life,” which uses about 70 seconds of the sermon looped throughout the song. Moten’s lawsuit calls the uncleared sample an example of musicians “willfully and egregiously sampling sound recordings of others without consent or permission.” The lawsuit also includes Kanye’s label, G.O.O.D Music, and its parent entities Def Jam Recordings and Universal Music Group. Donda, released in August 2021, sold 309,000 equivalent units, topping the Billboard 200 in its first week.
Kanye was previously sued over a religious sample in 2019. Andrew and Shirley Green, the adoptive parents of a little girl whose prayer is sampled on “Ultralight Beam” from The Life Of Pablo, sued Kanye for pulling the audio from a viral video on social media. Although Kanye reached out to the girl’s biological mother Alice Johnson for permission to use the clip, the Greens, the girl’s legal guardians, said they were never contacted, and that Johnson was never given a written license agreement or payment.
More recently, a music rights company, Declan Colgan Music Ltd., sued Universal over a sample of the band King Crimson’s “21st Century Schizoid Man” from the My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy single “Power.” DCM said that UMG has been underpaying the agreed-upon 5.33-percent cut from streams.