Kendrick Lamar is being accused of sampling a Bill Withers song without permission on a track off the “Kendrick Lamar EP.”
Kendrick Lamar has one of the cleanest legal records in the game, though he has now become the target of a lawsuit put forth by Mattie Music Group, reports TMZ. The music company apparently owns the rights to the song “Don’t You Want to Stay,” released in 1975 by soul great Bill Withers. The lawsuit claims that “Don’t You Want to Stay” was used without permission by Lamar on the instrumental for “I Do This,” which appeared on the Kendrick Lamar EP, released at the end of 2009. “I Do This” originally featuredJay Rock and a remix was included on Lamar’s 2010 mixtape Overly Dedicated. Sounwave is credited as the producer on the remix.
There are immediate similarities between the instrumentals to “Don’t You Want to Stay” and “I Do This” (find both songs below), but Mattie Music Group has gone as far to argue that Lamar’s “I Do This” is “nothing more than new rap and hip-hop lyrics set to the existing music of ‘Don’t You Want to Stay.’”
The Kendrick Lamar EP is still widely available as a free download, and it’s unclear if it was ever sold for profit, whereas Overly Dedicated is available on iTunes for purchase. It’s unknown how much monetary compensation Mattie Music Group is seeking, though the company believes it is entitled to damages for Lamar’s use of Withers’ track.