The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar are getting sued by Yeasayer

Image: Pitchfork

Just read this Pitchfork post that now-defunct Brooklyn-based band Yeasayer is suing the Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar for what seems to be one tremolo-like vocalization. Am I missing something here?

Yeasayer have sued Kendrick Lamar and the Weeknd over the Black Panther soundtrack single “Pray For Me,” TMZ reports and documents viewed by Pitchfork confirm. The band claims in the lawsuit that “Pray For Me” infringes on their All Hour Cymbals song “Sunrise.”

The band claims that “Pray For Me” features a “distinctive choral performance” from “Sunrise”—“male voices singing in their highest registers, with animated, pulsing vibrato.” Yeasayer are seeking profits from “Pray For Me” and damages. Find the full lawsuit below. Pitchfork has reached out to representatives for Kendrick, the Weeknd, and Yeasayer. –

I’ve pulled out the vocal sound that I think this lawsuit is about.

Here are the full songs:

The Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar – “Pray For Me” (2018)

Yeasayer – “Sunrise” (2007)

Here is the court filing:

See Also:

Did the Weeknd rip off this song for “A Lonely Night”?


Justin Bieber used a royalty-free sample on his new album (and so did Asher Monroe)



This is an update to Justin Bieber vs. Asher Monroe
Thanks to Damien Riehl for pointing out this development. Check out the post about Riehl’s TedX talk and project where he put ‘every single melody possible‘ onto a hard drive!

Well I think this is a first at least on this site, and in such a high profile place. It turns out the controversy of Justin Bieber apparently lifting the backing track from Asher Monroe was as simple as both artists using the same royalty-free sample from So there you have…. *record scratch*.

I don’t know about you but I find this a little bit troubling that two mainstream artists with teams of highly paid producers are even using royalty-free tracks for their records. I did a little poking around on Splice to see what their service is all about. It’s a thoughtful community of artists posting and sharing their music loops and samples for others to freely use in their work. Since everything uploaded becomes “royalty-free” any commercial artist can use the work without having to give credit or pay the original creator. Everyone who contributes is aware of this fact including Laxcity whose track is featured on both Bieber’s track “Running Over” (2020) and Asher Monroe’s track “Synergy” (2019). The funny thing is Monroe called out Bieber on social media without realizing this was a royalty-free track.

This is a new era folks and we might need to get used to it. I guess in a way this is no different than sampling in hop-hop right? But now you don’t need to give credit.

Splice has seized the opportunity to reach out to Laxcity for an interview. Turns out he is flattered about the usage and is excited about the exposure. In that respect it’s a win for everyone. He even posted a tutorial of how he built the track:

Here are clips of both the Bieber and Monroe tracks below:




Here’s Laxcity on the subject:


“It’s a place of inspiration and if it inspires mainstream producers or A-List producers at all then you know that just happens, that’s just how it’s supposed to be. I’m just extremely honored I made it in a Justin Bieber song.”



See also:

Justin Bieber Sued for “Sorry”

Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran vs. Elvis Presley

Justin Bieber vs. September

The Verge: Justin Bieber was accused of stealing a melody, but it’s actually a royalty-free sample you can buy online

Every Melody Possible Is On A Hard Drive And You Can Download It!

YouTuber Adam Neely posted a great video where he sits down with Damien Riehl and Noah Rubin about their project to copyright every possible melody (!). They used a computer to “brute force” every possible melody to make a point to the world of copyright infringement. From a law perspective this project was created to help protect artists or at least change the public perception of what constitutes music copyright infringement. You can download their project with every melody variation at

Here’s the Ted Talk called “Copyrighting all the melodies to avoid accidental infringement | Damien Riehl | TEDxMinneapolis”

“In the litany of copyright infringement lawsuits, technology lawyer and musician Damien Riehl demonstrates that music is merely math, and has a finite number of possible melodies. If you’ve ever thought a song you like sounded similar to another, the culprit may not be an unethical forger, but rather the limited mathematical musical equations that our favorite artists have to work with. Current copyright law is at risk of severely limiting future music creation and future human creativity. This talk suggests a new way to handle these legal cases. Damien Riehl is a technology lawyer with a B.S. in music. After beginning to code in 1985, and for the web in 1995, he has worked for the chief judges of state and federal courts; litigated for a decade; taught law-school copyright classes; and led teams in software development, digital forensics, proactive cybersecurity, reactive cybersecurity incidents, and world-scale investigations. Damien’s combined experience in the law, technology, and music has inspired his most recent project—copyrighting billions of unique melodies. “

Interesting!! What do you think??!!

UPDATE: 02-24-2020

Turns our Damien used this site for some of his research 🙂