Kendrick Lamar is facing a copyright infringement lawsuit for his 2017 song “LOYALTY.,” which features Rihanna. The lawsuit was filed on August 21 in a California federal court by music producer Terrance Hayes, with the producer alleging the production which appeared in Kendrick Lamar’s “LOYALTY.” had been lifted from Haye’s 2011 track, “Loyalty.” Other defendants named in Haye’s lawsuit are producer Terrace Martin, Josef Leimberg and Top Dawg Entertainment.
Haye’s lawsuit goes on to allege that Leimbereg had collaborated with Hayes in 2011, with the two allegedly recording Haye’s “Loyalty” together and the track allegedly being kept on Leimberg’s computer. Leimberg had previously collaborated with Kendrick Lamar on the 2015 album, To Pimp a Butterfly. The lawsuit states that “‘Loyalty’ bears similarities so striking to Haye’s pre-existing work as to preclude the possibility that it was independently created.” The lawsuit goes on to allege that Martin had access to Hayes’ song “Loyalty” through Leimberg.
The suit alleges Kendrick Lamar’s “LOYALTY.” had “copied the entire composition, including title, melody, harmony and rhythm from the Subject Track into the Infringing Song, and slowed it down through a synthesizer and combined it with another sample to disguise the copying.” The suit continues to allege that “the Infringing Song copies substantial qualitative and quantitative portions of the Subject Track, including the same song title, similar subject matter, substantially similar note combinations and structures, melodies, themes, rhythm and kick and snare patterns.”
Haye’s lawsuit seeks all profits made from Kendrick Lamar’s “LOYALTY.,” as well as “all losses of Plaintiff” which had been resulted from the alleged copyright infringement. The suit goes on to explain the exact sum will be proven at the time of trial, with Hayes also seeking that the defendants pay the suits’ legal fees.
Kendrick Lamar’s “LOYALTY.” appeared on his 2017 album, DAMN. The album went on to win a Pulitzer Prize for Music, winning a Grammy with Best Rap Album, BET Hip Hop Awards’ Album of the Year, a Juno Award for International Album of the Year, and NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Album. DAMN. had also been nominated for the Grammy’s Album of the Year in 2018.
Photo credit: Sharon Alagna