Kanye West is in hot water after failing to respond to a lawsuit that accused him of sampling Boogie Down Productions’ song “South Bronx” without permission. Phase One Network, the copyright owner of “South Bronx,” sued Kanye West, along with Kano Computing, Def Jam Recordings, and others for copyright infringement in 2022. The lawsuit claimed that Ye never obtained clearance to use the sample in his song “Life of the Party,” which he allegedly released on the Stem Player.
In July 2021, a clearance agent sent a licensing request to Phase One, but retracted it in November 2021. Despite this failed attempt to secure a licensing agreement, Kanye West still allegedly used the “South Bronx” sample in his song, distributed it through the Stem Player, and incorporated it into advertisements.
As a result, Phase One requested an entry of default against Kanye West in January 2023. On March 8, 2023, the Clerk of Court for the Southern District of New York submitted an entry of default in the case, noting that Kanye West had failed to plead or otherwise defend the action.
This news comes after Kanye West’s “Life of the Party” leaked in September 2021 and was officially released on the deluxe edition of his album Donda in November 2021. The track featured Andre 3000, who had criticized Kanye West for including his verse on the song without his permission.
Kanye West’s failure to respond to the lawsuit has serious consequences. Phase One Network can now move for a default judgment against him, which could result in significant damages. The case highlights the importance of obtaining proper clearance for samples and the potential legal ramifications of failing to do so.
As of now, Kanye West has not publicly commented on the default in the lawsuit. All eyes are now on Phase One Network to see how they will proceed with the case and what the outcome will be for Kanye West.