We all know Kanye West is a genius and a god. Because he tells us so. But even geniuses and gods need a little help once in awhile. Or maybe a lot of help. Which is cool if, like, you admit that you need help. The first step is admitting it, people. But Kanye's genius on "Bound 2," according to a lawsuit, is alleged to be someone else's genius. So the god is getting sued.
A former child singer named Ricky Spicer says he was stunned when he heard "Bound 2" and realized -- he was the star of it! The main part of the song, the high-pitched wailing of Boooooound to faaaaalllllll in looooove he says is, well HIM. And he alleges that nobody done give him no credit or money or nothing! So he called up some lawyers. SMH.
Spicer, who was once a little Michael Jackson clone, but didn't go on to have Jackson's career, was 12 years old when he recorded the "Bound 2" lyrics for his group The Ponderosa Twins plus One. (Perhaps that unwieldly name is the reason they never became another The Jackson 5.)
Spicer is now 56 years old and lives in Ohio. The suit, filed against Kanye as well as Roc-A-Fella Records, Island Def-Jam Music, Rhino Entertainment and Universal Music Group, says:
Mr. Spicer’s voice is sampled exactly as he recorded it and his voice … is heard several times.
Um, well, yes ... Safe to say it sounds like there would be no "Bound 2" without Spicer. I'm not sure what the god did here exactly except take other songs and rap over them. The "Uh-huh hunny" part comes from Brenda Lee's "Sweet Nothings." Wonder if she got paid?
Yeah, yeah, I get it. That's rap! Kanye has always sampled. He came to fame sampling Ray Charles (sung by Jamie Foxx) on "Gold Digger." But it's called sampling when it's cleared and paid for. Otherwise, it's called stealing.
These things get a little complex ... does Spicer still own his voice as it was recorded then? His lawyers must think he has a case or they probably wouldn't have filed.
It's all well and good to sample music -- it can bring a lot of attention to artists gone by who could use it -- but you gotta let that be known! Can't just go around taking stuff and hoping no one notices you didn't come up with it.
Of course, Kanye is hardly the first musician to do this. There's a very long history of it. Robin Thicke has also been accused of stealing a song from Marvin Gaye.
But this wasn't just inspiration -- he apparently took the damn track and used it as the hook in his song. According to legal site Nolo, sample clearance was totally needed. Why the HELL would those big companies try to get away with not paying?? Did they??
PAY UP, YEEZY!
Here's Spicer's song, "Bound":
And Kanye's, "Bound 2":
No brainer, right?