BOSSIP Exclusive: Kendrick Lamar Close To Settling “Rigamortus” Sample Suit

- By Bossip Staff

L.A. Rapper Accused Of Ripping Off Jazz Tune For Song “Rigamortus”

Kendrick Lamar is close to inking a settlement deal in his copyright infringement case over his song “Rigamortus,” BOSSIP has learned.

Last year, pianist Eric Reed and drummer Willie Jones III sued Kendrick Lamar for more than a million dollars, claiming the rapper stole a riff from their record, “The Thorn,” and used it for his own song, “Rigamortus,” without crediting, paying or acknowledging the men’s work. “The Thorn” appeared on Jones’ 2010 album, “The Next Phase.”

It’s not the first time Kendrick Lamar has been accused of claiming other artist’s work as his own. Last month, we exclusively revealed a photographer sued the rapper for using his picture to promote his new album, “To Pimp A Butterfly.”

Lamar almost lost the case by default back in April, because he didn’t bother responding to the suit for four months. But BOSSIP can reveal that lawyers for the artists said they’ve come to an out of court settlement, and the agreement could come as early as this week.
“Parties report that they have reached a settlement and are awaiting two signatures,” court records on the matter state.

Also named as defendants in the suit are TopDawg Entertainment – Kendrick Lamar’s record label – and “Rigamortus” producer Willie Brown.

Although it’s not yet clear what the settlement terms are, the jazz musicians said in their complaint that they want money for damages, lost earnings, back royalties and lawyer’s fees. They also wanted Lamar to give them credit for the song.

Lawyers for the rapper and the jazz musicians declined to comment Wednesday.

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