The former Brooklyn, New York-based rock collective Yeasayer voluntarily dropped their lawsuit against recording artist The Weeknd, producer Frank Dukes and UMG Recordings over the 2018 song “Pray For Me” from the Black Panther original motion picture soundtrack. As previously reported on Pitchfork, “Yeasayer and their We Are Free, LLC had filed the lawsuit against the Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar, producers Doc McKinney and Frank Dukes, and labels UMG, Interscope, Aftermath, and Top Dawg Entertainment in February 2020.” To listen to The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar’s “Pray For Me” stream below, via YouTube.
In the initial lawsuit, Yeasayer argues the similarities of a “distinctive choral performance” from their single “Sunrise” off their 2007 debut album, All Hour Cymbals, described as “male voices singing in their highest registers, with animated, pulsing vibrato,” mirroring a sound similarly found in sections of the 2018 song “Pray For Me” performed by Kendrick Lamar and The Weeknd. According to the aforementioned Pitchfork article, “This past spring, the Weeknd, Frank Dukes, and UMG responded to the lawsuit, denying all allegations of copyright infringement. Kendrick Lamar, Doc McKinney, Interscope, Aftermath, and Top Dawg did not respond to the lawsuit and are not mentioned in the text of the dismissal.”
The Weeknd, along with other high profile celebrities, recently signed and have called on others to sign a letter that calls for defunding of the police in favor of education, health care and other community programs. The Canadian-based singer, songwriter and producer The Weeknd (born Abel Makkonen Tesfaye) has successfully recorded four full-length studio albums: 2013’s Kiss Land, 2015’s Beauty Behind the Madness, 2016’s Starboy and his latest 2020 release After Hours. As previously reported, here on mxdwn, “The Weeknd’s After Hours Tour is scheduled to continue in 2021 with three full-production shows at LA’s Staples Center. The tour was initially scheduled for this year as After Hours was released in March, but it was announced just minutes ago that, due to Covid-19 ,the tour has been pushed back an entire year. The dates have remained about the same, with the Staples Center shows taking place August 13-15 of 2021″
According to court documents filed in a New York federal court, as previously reported in Pitchfork, “…Yeasayer ‘confirmed to their satisfaction that no copyright infringement occurred.'” Yeasayer was an experimental progressive rock band that recorded five full-length studio albums including: 2010 sophomore follow-up Odd Blood, their 2012 third studio album Fragrant World, their 2016 fourth studio album Amen & Goodbye and last year’s Erotic Reruns. To listen to Yeasayer’s “Sunrise” stream below, via YouTube.
The aforementioned Pitchfork article concluded with, “Yeasayer released their final album Erotic Reruns in June 2019. The band announced its breakup six months later.” As previously reported, here on mxdwn, “Yeasayer posted on Facebook the details of their breakup. Read the official announcement posted by the band below:”
Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat