The singer whose 1971 song is sampled on Kanye West’s track “Bound 2” is suing the rapper for using it without permission. Ricky Spicer, 56, filed suit in Manhattan Supreme Court on Monday, demanding that West either pay him for the misappropriated use of the sample or cease and desist.
Spicer was part of the Cleveland-based teen R&B-soul group Ponderossa Twins Plus One. (Spicer was the Plus One, alongside the Gardner and Pelham twins.) They never became as big as the Jackson 5, and despite a few minor hits, they were finished by 1975. But their debut 1971 album, 2+2+1 = Ponderossa Twins Plus One, featured the song “Bound,” which includes 12-year-old Spicer’s “fallin’ in love” refrain.
“Mr. Spicer’s voice is sampled exactly as he recorded it,” claims the suit, which also names West’s record labels Roc-A-Fella Records, Universal Music Group, Island Def-Jam Music and Rhino Entertainment as defendants.
There’s no denying that “Bound” is part of Kanye’s hit song, but he clearly believes he acquired the right to the tune properly, via All Platinum Records. (Why else would he title his song “Bound 2”?) But there is some debate about the song’s proper ownership, according to a recent story in the Cleveland Challenger. In his lawsuit, Spicer claims that he has a copyright “in the sound recording of his voice in the song.”
West’s reps did you immediately respond to EW’s request for comment. Click below to hear both songs.