Brooklyn Band, Yeasayer, Sue The Weeknd & Kendrick Lamar


February 25, 2020

Karl Walter / Staff


Despite calling it quits last year after a 13 year run, Brooklyn's own Yeasayer have reconveiened as a group to launch a brand new endeavor... suing The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar for infringement.  

The violation in question stems from the pair's 2018 Black Panther soundtrack collab, "Pray For Me", which the band claims uses a “distinctive choral performance” either sampling or referencing their 2007 track, “Sunrise”.  The complaint alleges that while Lamar and The Weeknd pitched up the vocal to “conceal the infringement” the use is "immediately recognizable" through the medium of “male voices singing in their highest registers, with animated, pulsing vibrato.”  In the claim, as released by TMZ, the band are reportedly seeking all of the profits accrued from the doubel platinum track, alongside an injunction blocking further distribution of the song.

While this writer is neither a lawyer nor a musicologist and certainly stands with our local boys and the underdog, I am... not sure where I fall on all this.  Which is why, we will leave it to you dear reader, to decide for yourself if there is indeed infringement happening here, and if mega stars The Weeknd and Kendrick should have to hand over the track entirely, or maybe toss these boys a couple of bucks and be on their merry way.

We've included both tracks below, with the sample in question, first appearing in "Pray For Me" around the 2:10 mark, while the band's allegedly infringed work begins out the very start of "Sunrise".  So for now we say, think for yourself, question authority, and make sure you've apparently listened to every song in existence before writing your own (or just, you know, clear the sample).

Yeasayer - "Sunrise

The Weeknd & Kendrick Lamar - "Pray For Me"