Drake Beat A Sampling Lawsuit Over “Pound Cake/Paris Morton Music 2”

Jimmy Smith’s estate were told the sample on the Nothing Was The Same track’s was “fair use.”

Photographer Mark Peckmezian
June 01, 2017

Drake has beat a copyright infringement lawsuit first filed back in 2014. The suit related to Jimmy Smith sample used on Nothing Was The Same track "Pound Cake/ Paris Morton Music 2" and was brought by Smith's estate.


"Pound Cake/Paris Morton Music 2” features a sample of Smith's 1982 song “Jimmy Smith Rap” that the late artist's estate claimed had been used without permission. However, as THR reports, U.S. District Court Judge William H. Pauley III decided in favor of Drake in court Tuesday, May 30. Others named in the lawsuit included producers Boi-1da and Jordan Evans plus Cash Money, Universal, EMI, Republic, Apple, Amazon, and more.

The fair use verdict was explained by Pauley as being down to the fact that "Pound Cake/ Paris Morton Music 2" is "sharply different" to Smith's original and “adds something new.”

In the 1982 original, Smith says, “Jazz is the only real music that’s gonna last. All that other bullshit is here today and gone tomorrow. But jazz was, is and always will be.” Drake's track cuts this down to just, “Only real music's gonna last. All that other bullshit is here today and gone tomorrow.” Pauley ruled that Drake’s version turns it into “a statement that ‘real music,’ with no qualifiers, is ‘the only thing that's gonna last’” whereas Smith’s original “is an unequivocal statement on the primacy of jazz over all other forms of popular music.”

An additional factor in the Smith estate's lawsuit was about the length of the sample. Again, Pauley ruled in favor of Drake saying the sample’s length is “reasonable in proportion to the needs of the intended transformative use.”