Back in February, Brooklyn rock band Yeasayer announced its intent to sue the Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar over their song "Pray for Me." In the lawsuit, the now-split band claimed the two artists illegally sampled their 2007 track "Sunrise" for the Black Panther: The Album closer. It was alleged the song used the same "distinctive choral performance," and now the Weeknd has responded to the allegation.
In court documents obtained by Complex, and as reported by the Blast, the Weeknd has requested the lawsuit be dismissed. "Each and every allegation contained in the complaint not specifically admitted herein is denied," read the documents. Attorneys for the Weeknd wrote, "The sound recording of 'Pray for Me' does not capture any actual sounds from the sound record, 'Sunrise.'"
Additionally, he is asking for his attorney fees to be paid for by Yeasayer.
When Yeasayer filed the lawsuit, it was claimed that the band recognized their own voices in the track. The alleged sample in question has been dscribed as "comprised of male voices singing in their highest registers, with animated, pulsing vibrato." The band split near the end of 2019, but fans first pointed out the moment on "Pray for Me" was similiar to "Sunrise" when the song debuted back in 2018. The Black Panther entry was produced by Frank Dukes and Doc McKinney, but no samples were listed in the credits.