Did Drake and Kanye West Steal Parts Of Their Biggest Songs?

Becky Bain | June 29, 2010 11:44 am

Two of the biggest rappers in the world have been slapped with lawsuits this week in connection with the production of two of their biggest songs—Drake is being sued for allegedly nabbing part of a 70s track and throwing it onto “Best I Ever Had”, while Kanye West is being sued for allegedly plagiarizing parts of his Daft Punk-aided 2007 hit “Stronger.” Do either of these lawsuits have any merit? Let’s take a closer look:

Drake is being sued by, of all people, Hugh Hefner and his Playboy Enterprises for sampling a piece of music that Playboy owns. The track is a 1970s ballad called “Fallin’ In Love” by Hamilton, Frank & Reynolds, and Drake samples it in his hit song “Best I Ever Had.” See below:

It definitely sounds like the same song… for the opening three seconds. Whether or not those notes are lifted from the “Fallin’ In Love” track, we have to agree with Prefix Mag on this—why sue Drake? He didn’t produce the song. Is it because he takes the most credit for the track, or because he’s got money to spare at this point? And if Boi-1da, who produced “Best I Ever Had”, did indeed sample the song, wouldn’t he have found out who owns it before he slapped part of it on a track? Questions, questions.

This isn’t the first time the song “Best I Ever Had” has been plagued with copyright issues, as Lil Wayne producer Kia Shine wanted songwriting credit on the track and part ownership of the song, since it briefly samples the beat of a Weezy track he produced. At the end of the day, though, Drizzy stuck to his guns and basically blogged a big fat “no.” We’ll see if he’ll do the same to Hugh Hefner.

The more ridiculous of the two lawsuits is the one filed by songwriter called Vince P (real name Vincent Peters), who is suing Kanye for copyright infringement. He claims that West copied parts of a song he had sent Kanye’s manager in 2007 when he was trying to get Kanye to be an executive producer of his album. His song includes the same phrases in “Stronger” such as “What don’t kill me make me stronger” and “couldn’t wait no longer,” in addition to referencing Kate Moss.

Okay, we’re kind of on board with this one. It is possible that Kanye could have taken two lines and a Kate Moss reference and incorporated it into his song. But Peters is demanding way, way, way too much compensation—he is not only is seeking damages, but is demanding that the label stop distributing the song, that West stop performing the song, and that he wants any remaining copies of the song to be destroyed. (What does he want them to do, smash iTunes with a hammer?) Good luck getting Team Kanye to agree to that one, dude!

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