The rock band alleges that a 'choral performance' from their 2007 song was used in the hit single without permission.
Kendrick Lamar and The Weeknd?’s Black Panther soundtrack collaboration “Pray for Me” gave both artists another chart success in February 2018, when the hard-charging track peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100. Unfortunately for them, the song is now also hitting the courts.
Indie rock band Yeasayer and their record label We Are Free are suing Lamar, The Weeknd (a.k.a. Abel Makkonen Tesfaye) and various other defendants for copyright infringement, accusing them of lifting a “distinctive choral performance” from the song “Sunrise” off the group’s 2007 debut studio album All Hour Cymbals. The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court in New York on Monday (Feb. 24) by the plaintiffs' attorneys Scott Alan Burroughs and Laura M. Zaharia of Doniger/Burroughs.
In the complaint, Yeasayer -- which consisted of Chris Keating, Ira Wolf Tuton and Anand Wilder -- allege the defendants “extracted” the choral performance in question and inserted it into “Pray for Me” only after “slightly” modifying it and altering its pitch in post-production.