Ricky Spicer, 56, filed a suit yesterday in Manhattan Supreme Court that accused the rapper of using his voice without permission on his current hit single (and in its notorious video depicting Kim Kardashian topless on a motorcycle). The Yeezus track pulls from Spicer’s childhood soul group, the Ponderosa Twins Plus One, and his lead vocals on the track “Bound.”
Spicer recorded the track, and its familiar “fallin’ in love” refrain, when he was 12 years old, reports the New York Daily News. He had previously lived in an orphanage before being discovered by a music publisher at a talent show. Listen to the original track and compare to West’s below.
“Mr. Spicer’s voice is sampled exactly as he recorded it and his voice… is heard several times,” charges the suit, which requests that West pay Spicer or cease and desist in use of his vocals. It also names West’s record labels Roc-A-Fella Records, Universal Music Group, Island Def-Jam Music and Rhino Entertainment as defendants.
Kanye West and his labels have not responded to the lawsuit, but the hip-hop star has remained reliably vocal on other topics lately: he revealed that his next album will be more aesthetically streamlined and possibly only eight songs, crooned contentious opinions about Michael Jordan’s basketball career and launched into a tirade against an interviewer who questioned his attempts to conquer the fashion industry.
Hear the Ponderosa Twins Plus One’s “Bound” and West’s “Bound 2” below: