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Copyright claim settled between Kanye West and Junior Vasquez

Written by Mekael Rahman on 09 January 2019

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Kanye West recently settled a copyright claim with veteran house producer, DJ Junior Vasquez. The claim pertained to a track the former produced that the latter referred to as ‘essentially [his] original track with a rap laid on top’.

West made ‘WTP’ for Teyana Taylor’s album ‘K.T.S.E.’ which was released in June 2018; the Chicago rapper and producer’s team stated that it sampled Vasquez ’s 1989 track, ‘Work This Pussy’ created under alias Ellis D. According to Towleroad, a leading online news source, the well-known house producer of the 1990s on labels such as Pagoda and TRIBAL America said that ‘[t]hey referred to it as a sample, so I asked to hear the track they made and was surprised that it was essentially my original track with a rap laid on top’. Nevertheless, Vasquez also stated that ‘I wasn't trying to bash anyone or piss anyone off. I was simply after a fair license agreement for the song’.  

The house producer who now receives royalties on ‘WTP’ as well as writer and publishing credits, concluded his comments on the settlement feeling rather optimistic about what has transpired and how the future could unfold. He remarked, ‘I’m still intrigued by how Kanye West and Teyana Taylor discovered my 30-year-old song. I would love to know where and how they found it…I’m pleased by the success of the new version. Teyana Taylor has introduced the track to a whole new genre that I would never have thought imaginable. Who knows?  Maybe it will inspire other hip-hop artists and producers to take a look at my collective body of work to see what other tracks might have crossover potential?’.

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