In court documents reported on Tuesday, the US pastor reportedly says it is the latest example of Kanye and the music industry “wilfully and egregiously sampling sound recordings of others without consent or permission”.
A Texas pastor is reportedly suing Kanye West, alleging the rapper used parts of a sermon he gave without permission.
Bishop David Paul Moten claims parts of the sermon were used for 70 seconds in total on the track “Come To Life”, according to Texas court documents seen by netbuzzafrica.com.
It amounts to more than 20% of the just over five-minute track.
The alleged illegal sample can be heard at the start of “Come to Life,” in which a voice says “My soul cries out, ‘Hallelujah’ And I thank God for saving me I, I thank God.” Another sample from the same recording is used later in the song: “Hallelujah (Thank You, Jesus) Hallelujah (Yes) Hallelujah…” and the clip appears to play softly in the background at other moments.
“‘Come to Life’ is approximately five minutes and ten seconds (5:10) in length,” Moten wrote. “Approximately one minute and ten seconds (1:10) of this sound recording is sampled directly from Plaintiff’s sermon.”
In the documents, Bishop Moten also says it is the latest example of Kanye and the music industry “wilfully and egregiously sampling sound recordings of others without consent or permission”.
A tiny snippet of language that’s commonly used in sermons might seem to be fair game, but federal courts have long held that even the smallest samples of sound recordings must be licensed. In a seminal 2005 ruling, a federal appeals court put it bluntly: “Get a license, or do not sample.”
Bishop Moten is also said to be suing UMG Recordings, Def Jam Recordings and G.O.O.D Music over the song.
Damages are being sought from all of them, according to court documents. Come To Life is on the rapper’s 10th studio album, Donda, released last year. Read court documents below.