Childish Gambino sued by rapper who alleges “This Is America” copyright infringement
Donald Glover is sued for copyright infringement by a Florida rapper. TMZ reports and Pitchfork can confirm this through court documents. Rapper Kidd Wes claims that the childish Gambino song “This Is America” infringes the copyright of his 2016 song “Made in America”. Kidd Wes, real name Emelike Wesley Nwosuocha, filed his lawsuit in federal court in New York today (May 6).
The list of defendants in Kidd Wes’ lawsuit is extensive. The accused are, besides Donald Glover: Young Thug, co-author of “This Is America”, producer Lüdwig Goransson of “This Is America”, Kobalt Music, RCA Records, Sony Music Entertainment, Young Stoner Life Publishing LLC, 300 Entertainment, Atlantic Records, Warner Music Group, Roc Nation, Universal Music Publishing Group and Warner Chappell Music.
On September 11, 2016, Kidd Wes uploaded “Made in America” to SoundCloud for the first time. A document filed with the lawsuit shows that Wes obtained a copyright on his album Eleven: The Junior Senior Year on May 24, 2017. “Made in America” is the closing song on Eleven, which was released later in 2017.
In the lawsuit, Kidd Wes and his lawyers argue that “the essential similarities between the two songs include nearly identical, unique, rhythmic, lyrical, and thematic compositional and performance content included in the chorus – or” hook “-. Sections that are at the heart of both songs. “
When Kidd Wes’ lawyers, Imran H. Ansari and La’Shawn N. Thomas, were reached by Pitchfork, they affirmed: “The similarities between the two pieces of music are no coincidence and constitute a violation, as in the one submitted by our client Complaint is alleged. Emelike Nwosuocha, known professionally as Kidd Wes. Confident in his claims, Mr. Nwosuocha simply seeks the recognition and compensation he deserves for the unauthorized use of his music. “
Kidd Wes and his attorneys are seeking damages out of profit in at least 43 categories including: Record Sales, Ringtones, Ringback Tones, Endorsements, Increased Goodwill, All Music Publishers, Record Masters and Record Revenue, and More Value in Negotiating 360 Deals with Record Companies.
As early as 2018, New York rapper Jase Harley claimed that Donald Glover “stole” the music for “This Is America” from his March 2016 song “American Pharaoh”. Fam Rothstein, a close associate and employee of Glover, denied plagiarism claims and tweeted (then deleted) that “Made in America” was “3 years old,” suggesting the track started in 2015.