Terrance Hayes filed the lawsuit earlier this month against producer Terrace Martin, contributing artist Josef Leimberg and Top Dawg Entertainment, alleging the song “copied the entire composition, including title, melody, harmony, and rhythm” from Hayes’ original song recorded with Leimberg back in 2011. Hayes says Martin got the original recording from Leimberg’s computer and then “slowed it down with a synthesizer and combined it with another sample to disguise the copying” in order to create Lamar’s “Loyalty.” Back in 2017, Martin told FADER how the song came together from sample of Bruno Mars' "24K."
Hayes is seeking the song’s profits, as well as “the equivalent of all losses to the plaintiff...any other monetary advantage gained by the Defendants,” as well as his legal fees. You can read the filing in full here.
The FADER has reached out to representatives for Kendrick Lamar.