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Childish Gambino hit with copyright infringement lawsuit

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 2021-05-08
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Donald Glover (Photo credit: Bang Media)

Actor Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino, is being sued for alleged copyright infringement over his Grammy winning single “This Is America.” According to U.S. federal court documents obtained by TMZ, Emelike Nwosuocha, who raps under the name Kidd Wes, claims that Glover’s 2018 song is “glaringly similar” to a song he released two years prior on Soundcloud called “Made In America.”

The complaint filed in New York cites “nearly-identical unique rhythmic, lyrical, and thematic compositional and performance content contained in the chorus – or ‘hook’ – sections that are the centerpieces of both songs.” Nwosuocha also claims the flow of his song and Gambino’s are “unmistakably substantially similar, if not practically identical.”

Gambino’s “This Is America,” fueled with African drums and rhythms and social commentary, became the first rap song to win a Grammy for best song and best record in 2019. TMZ reports that Kidd Wes says he created his track on SoundCloud in September 2016 and released it on YouTube a couple months later. He claims he also registered the song with the U.S. Copyright Office in May 2017, and it was set to be the lead single on his album.

Kidd Wes hired a musicologist as well who stated “similarities in melodic contour, rhythmic triplet flow in each performance, and the lines ‘Made in America’ and ‘This is America’ are ‘likely not coincidences.” The rapper is seeking damages for lost profits and opportunities. Other defendants listed include record labels RCA, Roc Nation and the rapper Young Thug, who is credited as a writer and performing backing vocals.

Glover has not publicly responded to the allegations. Compare the tracks on the following page and see if you think Kidd Wes has a valid case.

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