Kendrick Lamar and his label Top Dawg Music are being sued for a Bill Withers sample used in the Compton rapper’s song “I Do This” off 2013’s Kendrick Lamar EP mixtape, according to a lawsuit obtained by Billboard.
“The musical composition “I Do This” consists of nothing more than new, so-called Rap or Hip Hop lyrics, set to the existing music of “Don’t Want You To Stay,” reads the suit filed by Mattie Music Group, who claims to own the rights to Withers’ 1975 record, which appeared on the Making Music, Making Friends album.
The plaintiffs are pursuing damages, accusing Lamar, Warner Bros. Music, TDE, Hard and Warner/ Chappell of copyright infringement.
The suit, first reported by TMZ, also states that given “I Do This” still being offered for sale and available for download on “various internet music providers,” “Plaintiffs are informed and believe that Defendant Lamar has openly admitted that his musical composition ‘I Do This’ copies the music of ‘Don’t Want You To Stay’ with a thumb to the nose, catch me if you can attitude.” A rep for Lamar did not immediately respond to Billboard‘s request for comment.
Lamar has been served papers on prior occasions including last July when a freelance photographer sued him for using a photo without permission for his “The Blacker The Berry” digital artwork, a single that appeared on his Grammy-winning set To Pimp a Butterfly. In 2014, Lamar was also hit with a lawsuit by Eric Woolfson and his group, The Alan Parsons Project, who believed he had improperly sampled their song “Old and Wise” without consent on his track “Keisha’s Song (Her Pain),” which appeared on his 2011 Section.80 project.