It’s been over two years since that song from the Black Panther soundtrack dropped, so it seems a little odd that Yeasayer are throwing down the lawsuit gauntlet now. But sure enough, TMZ has the documents to prove so. In the paperwork, Yeasayer claim that “Pray For Me” uses a “distinctive choral performance” from “Sunrise”, specifically “male voices singing in their highest registers, with animated, pulsing vibrato.” They add that Lamar and The Weeknd pitched it up to “conceal the infringement,” but that it’s “immediately recognizable” despite that.
So what do Yeasayer want Kendrick Lamar and The Weeknd to cough up in exchange for supposedly infringing on their All Hour Cymbals song? They’re asking for damages and all of the profits from “Pray For Me” in addition to an injunction blocking further distribution of the song.
Kendrick Lamar has a lot to be proud of when it comes to Black Panther’s success. In addition to the soundtrack being one of the top albums of 2018, the film itself became the first superhero movie to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Picture, not to mention its other Oscar wins. Here’s hoping Lamar gets to contribute to Ryan Coogler’s sequel, which is set to hit theaters in 2022.
Below, listen to both songs and decide for yourself whether “Pray For Me” uses the same vocal pulses as “Sunrise” (the moment occurs around the 2:10 mark in the former and at the beginning of the latter).
Earlier this year, Yeasayer announced their breakup after 15 years as a band. “It is a decision that has not been made lightly or swiftly, but the three of us agree it’s the right one at the right time,” a statement read at the time.