Texas Pastor Sues Kanye West for Allegedly Using His Sermon in 'Donda'
© AP Photo / Amy HarrisThis April 20, 2019 file photo shows Kanye West performing at the Coachella Music & Arts Festival in Indio, Calif.
© AP Photo / Amy Harris
Kanye West, who has legally changed his name to Ye, released the album 'Donda' in August 2021, which, like his other recent work, was strongly influenced by religion.
Bishop David Paul Moten has sued Kanye West for what he claims was an illegal use of his sermon in the 'Come to Life’ song from his 'Donda' album.
According to the lawsuit, in the track one can hear Moten saying “My soul cries out, ‘Hallelujah,’ and I thank God for saving me. I, I thank God,” - a sermon that Ye allegedly took and transformed into a rap.
“‘Come to Life’ is approximately five minutes and ten seconds (5:10) in length,” Moten explains in the lawsuit. “Approximately one minute and ten seconds (1:10) of this sound recording is sampled directly from my Plaintiff’s sermon.”
Aside from West himself, the suit names music labels Universal Music Group, Def Jam Recordings and G.O.O.D. Music.
Moten is a pastor at the Joy of Lord Worship Center, an Apostolic Pentecostal church in Victoria, Texas. He insists he did not authorise the use of his sermons in Ye’s track, claiming in the lawsuit that the rapper and his labels have "an alarming pattern" of “wilfully and egregiously sampling sound recordings of others without consent or permission.”
Neither Ye nor the record labels have commented on the lawsuit.
'Come to Life' is a part of Kanye's 'Donda' album that was released in August 2021. The album received a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year and Best Rap Album.