Kanye West is probably reveling in the scores of year-end accolades for his abrasive and challenging sixth studio album Yeezus, so what better way to celebrate arguably the creative high-water mark of his career than a convoluted copyright infringement case involving “Bound 2,” the song that gave this incredible video to the world?
Ricky Spicer, former pre-teen R&B lead singer of the Jackson 5-ish Ponderosa Twins Plus One, is reportedly suing West, Def Jam, Rhino, Roc-A-Fella Records,and Universal Music Group, seeking unspecified damages for common law copyright infringement.
Spicer’s group recorded “Bound” in 1969, a sample which is used heavily in “Bound 2,” and the suit is moving forward even though the Yeezus credits cites the clearance of the sample through Rhino Entertainment and Robertson Music Group.
For the most part, it seems like Ye is in the clear of any artistic wrongdoing, and the whole thing is mostly about the lawyers working through the insanely complicated red tape of music licensing, while properly handling the folks it leaves out in the cold (Spicer).
Here’s to another year of music business bureaucracy being a big, strange mess! 2014 here we come!