Back in March, actor Ronald Oslin Bobb-Semple claimed his voice was used on the 2018 song without perrmission. The artist's labels, Def Jam and Universal Music, were also named in the lawsuit. He is seeking unspecified damages and an injunction against West and Cudi plus collaborator Ty Dolla Sign and their record labels.
On Monday, in court documents filed in U.S. District Court in California and seen by Billboard, West and Cudi denied the claim and stated that their use of Bobb-Semple's 2002 recording “The Spirit of Marcus Garvey (Garvey speaks to an all-Black audience),” falls under fair use. They added that their actions were “innocent and non-willful” and that Bobb-Semple has failed to provide any facts supporting their alleged willfulness.
The defendants, which also include Jeff Bhasker and Mike Dean among others, went on to argue that Bobb-Semple is misusing his copyright.
The FADER has reached out to all parties for further comment.