Beyoncé Sued by New Orleans Group Over "Break My Soul" Sample

The singer and other parties have been accused of illegally using key lyrics from Da Showstoppaz' "Release a Wiggle" to create "Break My Soul."

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Beyoncé is facing a new lawsuit over one of her hit singles.

According to a complaint reviewed by Billboard, the 42-year-old singer, her record label Sony Music, and other parties are being sued by Da Showstoppaz, a New Orleans-based group that claims Beyoncé infringed their 2002 song “Release a Wiggle” for her 2022 Renaissance single “Break My Soul” by legally sampling Big Freedia’s 2014 song “Explode.”

Big Freedia, 46, legally known as Freddie Ross, who Da Showstoppaz accused of illegally lifting key lyrics from their song to create “Explode,” is also named as a defendant in the suit.

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The lawsuit, filed in Louisiana federal court, centers on the phrase “release yo wiggle” and related variations, which the group claims are unique to their song.

“While Mrs. Carter…and others have received many accolades and substantial profits…Da Showstoppaz’s have received nothing—no acknowledgment, no credit, no remuneration of any kind,” wrote the group’s attorneys, per Billboard.

Da Showstoppaz’ legal reps also claim that Big Freedia’s use of these phrases in their single “Explode” infringes on the group’s copyrights, contributing to the artist’s fame without crediting them. 

End of the thread share your favorite “release the wiggle” 😭 with me and you can suggest me some threads that you would like me to do !! I love making threads !! 🫶🏽 follow me for more rihyoncé content ✨

— BEYGOOD⁷💋❀ (@mimithebeyhive) May 14, 2024
Twitter: @mimithebeyhive

“The infringing phrase ‘release yo’ wiggle’ and several other substantially similar phrases are featured prominently in the song and evenly spread out across Explode’s two-minute and forty-seven second runtime,” the lawyers added. “Any reasonable person listening to ‘Release A Wiggle’ and ‘Explode’ would conclude that the songs are substantially similar.”

Billboard also notes that copyright law typically doesn’t protect “short, simple phrases” and that a court could hypothetically dismiss the case. Despite this, Da Showstoppaz’ lawyers feel confident in their case, adding they “have a copyright to their unique and distinctive lyrics” that were allegedly infringed upon by Freedia.

“The coined term and phrase ‘release a/yo wiggle’ has now become closely synonymous with Big Freedia, thereby contributing to Big Freedia’s fame,” wrote the lawyers further into the suit. “However, Big Fredia did not compose or write the phrase, and Big Freedia never credited Da Showstoppaz as the source.”

Da Showstoppaz claim they first learned about Big Freedia’s “Explode” through Beyoncé’s “Break My Soul.” They also say they contacted Beyoncé and others about the alleged infringement but did not receive a response.

“Break My Soul” was the surprise lead single for Beyoncé’s blockbuster Renaissance LP. According to Billboard, the song, which also samples Robin S.'s “Show Me Love,” topped the Hot 100 chart for two weeks, becoming her first solo No. 1 hit in 14 years since 2008’s “Single Ladies.”

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