One of Kendrick Lamar’s biggest hits is now at the center of a heated lawsuit.
The Brooklyn band Yeasayer is accusing Kendrick Lamar and the Weeknd of copyright infringement for their 2018 track, “Pray For Me.” Yeasayer claims the mega-stars stole vocals from them to enhance the chorus for their hit track for Black Panther.
The now-defunct experimental, rock band, Yeasayer, is suing mega-stars Kendrick Lamar and The Weeknd for copyright infringement for their collaboration on the 2018 Black Panther soundtrack “Pray for Me.” In the suit, Yeasayer claims the song infringes on the band’s 2007 track, “Sunrise.”
According to TMZ, the legal documents state that “Pray For Me” contains an unaccredited sample of “Sunrise.” The portion in question is described in the lawsuit as a “distinctive choral performance… comprised of male voices singing in their highest registers, with animated, pulsing vibrato.” According to the band, which split-up in December (2019), says the sample appeared in the Black Panther track in as many as eight different places.
The band alleges that the Weeknd, Lamar and the rest of the creative team behind “Pray for Me” took the snippet of “Sunrise,” reworked the vocals and then used the material in a “substantial portion” of “Pray for Me.” Along with Lamar and the Weekend, Yeasayer’s suit names “Pray for Me,” producers Doc McKinney and Frank Dukes as defendants.
While many fans may have thought the echoing high-pitched howl stemmed from the Weeknd, Yeasayer claims the vocals are their own.
Yeasayer wants all sales to stop and for the record to be taken off the shelves. The band members are also seeking licensing rights of the song, and an undisclosed amount in damages and the profits from “Pray for Me.”
TMZ reached out to both Kendrick and The Weeknd’s teams for comment but received no response.