*Apparently, Drake isn’t the only rapper who borrows lyrics.
Kendrick Lamar, one of hip hop’s most gifted wordsmiths, recently settled a lawsuit issued by two record labels accusing him of stealing music from other artists and taking sole credit for their work.
Lamar was slapped with a federal lawsuit by Soldier’s Hymn Music, Inc. and WJ3 Productions, along with musicians Eric Reed and Willie Jones III.
The lawsuit explained that Reed — who is a successful musician – composed the song “The Thorn” back in 2009 for Willie Jones III’s album “The Next Phase (WJ3).” Reed says he then registered the song with the Copyright Office.
The complaint stated:
“The Thorn” is a hard swinging track featuring an extremely distinctive and catchy hook that is the refrain of the song. The recording is infectiously rhythmic with clever melodic triplets throughout the hook played expertly by a tight rhythm section and commanding horns.
The musicians claimed they never gave Kendrick permission to use their song, however they accuse him of borrowing elements to create an entirely different tune “Rigamortus,” which was a track on Lamar’s debut album,”Section.80″.
The musicians sued Kendrick for 1 million dollars, all royalties made and an injunction against the rapper from continuing to distribute the song. Kendrick never filed a response to the allegations in the lawsuit.
In a sudden twist of the narrative, on September 17th, Reed dismissed the entire case along with all claims against Kendrick and the record labels. The case was closed the same day.
Reed’s dismissal could mean that he and Kendrick reached an agreement to settle the case.