Kanye West is facing a lawsuit alleging that his song “Life Of The Party” takes a Boogie Down Productions song without permission.
‘Life of the Party’ features André 3000, and was released on West’s Stem Player device as part of the deluxe edition of the 2021 album ‘DONDA’. Phase One Network – the management company responsible for Boogie Down’s music catalog – has since said that the song uses lyrics from the 1987 hip-hop group, ‘South Bronx’.
The lawsuit claims that West first requested permission to use ‘South Bronx’ in July of last year, but withdrew the request in November 2021, after both parties could not agree on the authorized use of the song. At the time, the rapper had already released ‘DONDA’, which arrived with its deluxe edition in August 2021.
According to Rolling Stone, The lawsuit claims that ‘Life Of The Party” is an exact reproduction of the ‘South Bronx’ horn hits, melodic numbers and drum fills as proof of infringement. The lawsuit also alleges that West and his team used ‘Life Of The Party’ to promote both ‘DONDA’ and Stem Player, and they ask that the song be banned.
“By illegally importing ‘South Bronx’ into Infringing Track and authorizing the distribution of Infringing Track through Stem Player and its associated website, All Defendants permitted the mass distribution of Infringing Track,” the court documents read.
West is named as a defendant along with record labels GOOD Music, Universal Music Group Recordings and Def Jam Recordings, the latter of which he was signed to at the time of the release of ‘DONDA’. He is also called Stem Player CEO and co-founder Alex Klein, with whom West worked to launch this device in 2021. Responding to the court, a spokesperson for STEM told. Rolling Stone, “We have just heard about this request, and we are currently investigating.”
“The KANO and STEM team have been promised by Kanye and Yeezy that they will provide the music ‘with all copyrights, licenses and permissions’. This was important to us, because STEM was built from the ground up to be a much better and more immersive medium than the current music business. At STEM, creators own and control their work, pricing, rights, and distribution completely,” the spokesperson said.
The ‘South Bronx’ case comes amid other legal battles targeting the West in recent months. Earlier this year, he faced two charges related to “DONDA” for copyright infringement of the songs ‘Flowers’ and ‘Come to Life’. In July, West was sued by an LA production company over claims for unpaid royalties related to his “Donda 2” livestream and his canceled Coachella 2022 appearance, among other incidents.
Recently, the family of the victim of police brutality, George Floyd, is said to be preparing a defamation suit against West, after he lied about Floyd’s death in an October interview.