Kanye West sued for 'Gold Digger' sample

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Image Credit: Pieter-Jan Vanstockstraeten/Getty Images

Everybody knows that “Gold Digger,” one of Kanye West’s biggest hits, is built around a sample of Ray Charles’ “I Got a Woman.” But according to a new lawsuit, there’s another sample in there not getting the credit it deserves.

Trena Steward and Lorenzo Pryor, two children of the late musician David Pryor, are suing West for damages because they claim “Gold Digger” borrows a sample of their father saying “get down,” which comes from his recording of the song “Bumpin’ Bus Stop,” which he recorded with his band Thunder & Lightning back in 1974.

The plaintiffs are asking for a judge to block future sales of “Gold Digger” and for “millions of dollars” in damages.

These things always feel spurious, especially when they arrive nearly a decade after the song in question went to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Still, let’s go ahead and listen to both tracks before making any decisions. Spin “Gold Digger” and “Bumpin’ Bus Stop” below. 

Actually, it really does sound like Pryor’s voice is sampled in the background, doesn’t it?

“Bumpin’ Bus Stop” wasn’t much of a hit when it was originally released, but it has had quite a second life as a source of hip-hop samples. Artists as diverse as Missy Elliott, Kool Keith, Positive K, Gang Starr, Talib Kweli, DJ Shadow, Everlast, and A Tribe Called Quest have dipped into “Bumpin’ Bus Stop.”

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