According to TMZ, both artists have been slapped with a lawsuit for allegedly failing to clear a sample of the 1970s record “If We Can't Be Lovers.” The song’s writer, Leroy Mitchell, aka Prince Phillip Mitchell, claims Ye and Solange illegally used his work for their respective tracks, “Everything I Am” and “Fuck the Industry.” The former was featured on Kanye’s 2007 album Graduation, while the latter appeared on the deluxe edition of Solange’s 2015 Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams project. TMZ reports Solange's track was originally intended for her long-lost I Can't Get Clearance mixtape, which adds an amusing element to this otherwise serious situation.
Though Mitchell is credited as a co-writer on both records, he claims he never granted the artists permission to sample his song. He is seeking punitive damages and wants both artists to stop performing the tracks in addition to halting radio play. It’s also worth noting that neither of the cuts were mainstream hits.
Here’s the original version of “If We Can't Be Lovers.”
You can compare it to “Everything I Am” and “Fuck the Industry” below.
Stay tuned to see how this case unfolds.
Kanye and Solange recently appeared in Helmut Lang's collaborative photo project with Exactitudes. The two modeled pieces from the brand's new Re-Edition capsule, which consisted of curated designs from Helmut Lang's archives. You can check out the photo series here.