A Texas pastor is claiming that Kanye West illegally sampled over a minute of one of his sermons for a song on West’s 2021 album Donda.
According to NBC 5 DFW, Bishop David Paul Moten, pastor of Joy of the Lord Worship Center in Victoria, Texas, filed a suit against West for allegedly using 70 seconds of audio from a sermon to create the track “Come to Life.” The five-minute song opens with the voice of a pastor in mid-sermon before West goes on to rap about his faith, loneliness and moving forward in life in the midst of difficulties.
Kanye West is being sued by a Texas pastor who claims the rapper and producer illegally sampled more than a minute of one of his sermons for a song on his 2021 album Donda.
Moten is claiming that West used his sermon without permission or compensation. The preacher is also suing Def Jam Recording, UMG Recordings and West’s label G.O.O.D. Music, saying in the suit that the other parties involved had engaged in “willfully and egregiously sampling sound recordings of others without consent or permission.”
The Houston Chronicle explains that music producers “must obtain a ‘clearance’ or copyright license for every sample that [they] use in [their] recordings.” While sampling fees vary from artist to artist, an artist of West’s likely could have obtained rights for a much cheaper price than he’s being sued for.
You can hear “Come to Life,” including Moten’s sampled sermon, below.