Kendrick Lamar might be one of the most respected rappers in hip-hop today, but that doesn’t make him immune to lawsuits. According to a report from TMZ, Lamar is being sued by Mattie Music Group, the company that owns the rights to Bill Withers 1975 song “Don’t You Wanna Stay.” The company is alleging that Lamar rapped over the song without permission on his track “I Do This.” Lamar’s version of the song, which features Jay Rock, originally came out in 2009 on The Kendrick Lamar EP, and a remixed version appeared on his 2010 mixtape O.verly D.edicated. The latter was made available for sale on iTunes, but the original version has only been offered for free.
Clearly it is the same song, but considering he released it for free and (presumably) hasn’t made a profit off it, it’s pretty unlikely that the lawsuit will be successful. Rappers are usually given fairly wide freedoms to use other people’s music on their mixtapes as long as they don’t offer it for sale. Nonetheless, Mattie Music Group is reportedly suing Lamar for damages and wants him to stop using the song altogether.
Complex has reached out to Top Dawg Entertainment for comment. You can check out both versions of the song below.