Marshall Jefferson is suing Kanye West over alleged unauthorised use of 'Move Your Body' sample
Marshall Jefferson is suing Kanye West over the use of a sample of the former’s 1986 Chicago house classic ‘Move Your Body’.
In a lawsuit, Jefferson and his representatives allege that the track’s sample is featured at least 22 times, without a licence, on the song ‘Flowers’, from West’s 2022 album ‘Donda 2’. The Chicago house artist’s publisher Ultra International Music Publishing filed the suit at New York’s US District Court on 29th June.
Speaking to BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat about the legal action and the sample, Jefferson said: “I’ve been sampled thousands of times. There is a right way and a wrong way to go about it. Getting done by another artist, a Black artist, a fellow Chicagoan, without acknowledgment is disappointing.”
As The Guardian reports, in the suit, Jefferson and his legal representatives claim that West and his team have previously admitted that they sampled ‘Move Your Body’ on ‘Flowers’. They say that this did not happen with the approval that would come from taking out a license to use the song, and therefore Jefferson has not been paid for its use.
Jefferson is seeking profits and damages to be decided at a trial hearing, or, alternatively, maximum statutory damages of $150,000 per infringement. “West advocates for artists’ rights with one hand, yet has no shame in taking away rights from another artist with the other,” the suit says of the US artist.
Also named in the suit are West’s label, Universal Music Group, and Kano Computing Ltd, the company that developed the Stem Player on which the rapper exclusively released ‘Donda 2’ earlier this year. In addition to West, neither UMG or Kano Computing Ltd have yet responded to the lawsuit.
Revisit DJ Mag’s 2020 feature on Marshall Jefferson here.