TV & Movies

Kendrick Lamar slammed with lawsuit for copyright infringement over Loyalty

KENDRICK Lamar has been sued in a California federal court for copyright infringement over his Grammy-winning single Loyalty.

Musician Terrance Hayes claims he wrote a 2011 song by the same name he recorded with Josef Leimberg six years before Kendrick’s hit 2017 song featuring Rihanna came out, a report said.



Hayes claims, in a lawsuit obtained by Music Business Worldwide, that Kendrick’s song copied not just the name but subject matter and composition, including: “note combinations and structures, melodies, themes, rhythm, and kick and snare patterns.”

The lawsuit provided alleged musical notation transcripts of the songs for comparison, noting only a few small changes to the chord progression, rhythm and melodies.

He is looking for a jury trial and seeks to be awarded all profits from Kendrick’s hit song by the alleged same name, and any additional “monetary advantage” as determined by the court.

In the lawsuit, Hayes alleges songwriter Terrace Martin, who is credited on Kendrick’s album Damn, had access to Hayes’ recording sessions through Leimberg.


Hayes, who frequently collaborates with Leimberg at Ironworx Creative Recordings, claims the recording sessions for his song were stored on the computer Leimberg used when he, in turn, collaborated with Martin in 2014 for Kendrick’s Grammy-winning album To Pimp a Butterfly.

Leimberg received a joint producing credit with Martin on Kendrick’s 2015 album under the joint alias LoveDragon.

“’Loyalty’ bears similarities so striking to Hayes’ pre-existing work as to preclude the possibility that it was independently created. Yet Defendants did not credit Hayes as a writer of “Loyalty,” seek or obtain his consent for their use of his original material, or offer him any compensation,” the lawsuit reads.

Recent years have shown a boom in music copyright lawsuits that Rolling Stone reported has “rattled the industry.”

Since Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams were notoriously ordered to pay Marvin Gaye’s estate over Blurred Lines, lawsuits have increasingly hit stars from Katy Perry and Ed Sheeran to Lizzo.

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