Kanye West Under Fire for Using Unauthorized Music Samples from Donna Summer and Ozzy Osbourne

Published February 11, 2024

The music industry is buzzing with controversy as rapper Kanye West faces criticism for the alleged unauthorized use of samples from iconic musicians in his new album. The estate of the late Donna Summer, famed for her hit 'I Feel Love', has accused West of illicitly sampling the song in his track 'Good (Don't Die),' featured on his recent collaboration with Ty Dolla $ign in the album Vultures 1. According to the estate, the said song contains an interpolation that closely resembles Summer's 1977 classic, leading to accusations of copyright infringement against West.

A public statement from Donna Summer's Instagram account expressed discontent with West's actions. It highlighted that although West sought permission for the sample, it was explicitly denied. Despite this, the rapper proceeded to use a version that alters the original lyrics, potentially involving re-recording or artificial intelligence techniques, which has not gone unnoticed by fans and the estate alike.

Rock legend Ozzy Osbourne has also voiced his disapproval of West's sampling methods. During a listening party in Chicago for the album Vultures, West played a sample of a live Black Sabbath's 'Iron Man' recording from 1983, openly disregarding Osbourne's refusal to clear the use of the sample. Osbourne, disturbed by the incident, took to Twitter to condemn West's action and to distance himself from the rapper, whom he labeled as an antisemite. Osbourne's statement on social media highlighted his refusal to be associated with West after previously declining the request to use the non-vocal part of the iconic 'Iron Man' performance.

The music world often deals with issues of copyright and sample clearance, but these instances stand out due to the stature of the artists involved and the explicit refusals that were ignored. As these allegations surface, questions arise about the legal and ethical implications of West's choices on his latest projects.

copyright, controversy, samples