Pastor sues Kanye West, saying Donda track ripped off sermon

Pastor sues Kanye West, saying Donda track ripped off sermon
Recording artist Kanye West performs during the closing ceremony for the 2015 Pan Am Games at Pan Am Ceremonies Venue in Toronto, Canada, on July 26, 2015.
PHOTO: Reuters

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 (May 3) 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 per cent 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."

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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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