Kanye West is prolific when it comes to musical sampling, but it looks as though one of these samples wasn’t properly obtained.
On West’s 2013 single “New Slaves,” the rapper lifted a section from the 1969 song “Gyöngyhajú Lány” (“The Girl with Pearl’s In Her Hair”). The song’s original composer, Gabor Presser, was not properly compensated, however, despite reports that West’s lawyers attempted to reach a financial agreement somewhere in the ballpark of $10,000 prior to the song’s release. According to the New York Post, Presser refused the flat fee and ignored any paperwork that West sent to him for authorization, implying that a settlement could not be reached between the two parties.
As of 2017, Presser has received only $700 for his composition, and will be taking West to court on May 15 for a $2.5 million settlement. West has yet to comment.
Check out Kanye West’s “New Slaves,” with its 85-second sampling of Presser’s song, and the original recording below.