The Weeknd Denies Sampling Yeasayer on "Pray for Me"
The band sued over the 'Black Panther' single with Kendrick Lamar in February
Published May 01, 2020Back in February, Yeasayer sued the Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar, alleging their collaborative Black Panther soundtrack single "Pray for Me" illegally samples their 2007 song "Sunrise." Now, the Weeknd has responded to the allegations.
According to court documents [via The Blast], the Canadian star has requested the lawsuit be dismissed, with documents reading, "Each and every allegation contained in the complaint not specifically admitted herein is denied."
Attorneys for the Weeknd write, "The sound recording of 'Pray for Me' does not capture any actual sounds from the sound record, 'Sunrise.'"
As previously reported, Yeasayer claimed in their initial suit that the Weeknd and Lamar altered a sample from "Sunrise" with "intent to conceal the infringement." You can hear the two songs below.
The trio, who broke up last December, alleged they had recognized their "distinct choral performance" that found them "singing in their highest registers, with animated, pulsing vibrato," that was "developed via distinctive audio post-processing."
It isn't the first time the Lamar-curated Black Panther soundtrack has been subject to a lawsuit. In February 2018, it was alleged that the video for album cut "All the Stars" ripped off work by British-Liberian artist Lina Iris Viktor without permission. The suit was settled in December that same year.