Just want to say hello. Haven’t posted in a while. It’s been a long year. Hope everyone is doing OK. See ya soon!
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. – Pitchfork.com
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:
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 Splice.com. 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.”