Kanye West Sued for Copyright Infringement Over Sample on ‘Donda 2’ Song “Flowers”

Ye's 'Donda 2' arrived as a Stem Player exclusive earlier this year. Per a new lawsuit, a sample used in "Flowers" constitutes copyright infringement.

Ye is seen wearing a leather jacket

Image via Getty/Gotham/GC Images

Ye is seen wearing a leather jacket

“Flowers,” a track off the artist formerly known as Kanye West’s Stem Player exclusive Donda 2, is now at the center of a copyright infringement claim.

As Reuters reported on Wednesday, Ultra International Music Publishing LLC (UIMP) alleges the track in question “directly samples” the 1986 song “Move Your Body,” written by house artist Marshall Jefferson, who’s also from Chicago. An unauthorized sample of the song, which is affectionately referred to as the “House Music Anthem,” is said to be repeated “at least” 22 times in the Donda 2 track.

View this video on YouTube


Mentioned in court documents (available here) is a claim from Ye in February of having made more than $2 million in Stem Player sales in a single day.

“Unfortunately, and contrary to his claimed interest in the proper compensation and fair treatment of all artists, West, has not shared his success with at least one well know artist and writer whose work he sampled and exploited without authorization or compensation in the creation of Donda 2,” the suit—which also names Yeezy Tech, Alex Klein, and Kano Computing—states.

Elsewhere, an Instagram post featuring the track from February is cited, as is Ye’s Miami-set performance art event that same month. It’s further alleged that reps for Jefferson and the independent publishing company held discussions with Ye during which he and his reps acknowledged the sample.

The New York-filed suit sees UIMP demanding a jury trial. Damages, profits, and a permanent injunction are also being sought. 

Donda 2, a sequel to last year’s Donda, began its rollout in February as a Stem Player exclusive. It has since remained exclusive to the device, which goes for $200 and gives users a uniquely immersive and participatory listening experience.

Latest in Music