Chance the Rapper is feeling the heat on the legal front.
Chance the Rapper is one of the country’s most popular and populist rappers in the game today. Not only did his last full-length release, Coloring Book, change how people thought about and approached independent online distribution, but he’s also a man who is constantly giving back to the community. In fact, he recently raised over $2 million for the Chicago school system. Despite all of that, Chance also runs into obstacles like every other artist human being, and this morning (September 13th) was a prime example, after a report from The Chicago Tribune revealed that the rapper is being sued for copyright infringement.
The lawsuit comes from a New York lawyer and jazz musician named Abdul Wali Muhammad, who claims that Chano sampled a “significant portion” of his work on the song “Windows” without getting permission first. Language in the documents that were filed accuse the rapper of “blatant and willful infringement” of the copyrighted song “Bridge Through Time,” the piece that was sampled on “Windows.” That song from Chance the Rapper was off his 2012 debut mixtape 10 Day. Muhammad has made a request to a federal judge to order Chance to cease “copying, distributing, performing, selling or offering to sell” the track.
Interestingly, the original version of “Bridge Through Time” was recorded in 1980 and released on the Columbia Records label. This version by Lonnie Liston Smith has been sampled by a minimum of 13 artists, including Jay Z and Big K.R.I.T., according to WhoSampled. Muhammad composed “Bridge Through Time” in 1979 and registered the copyright for it in May of that year, as per the lawsuit. His attorney says that “Chance failed and refused to take any action to halt access to the infringing song,” despite a direct reach-out from Muhammad about the issue. representative for Chance the Rapper has not commented as of yet.
This is just the latest in a string of questionable sales tactics in regards to Chance’s 10 Day tape. Allegedly thought of as just something he’d pass to his friends in the street, the rapper’s mixtape got uploaded to iTunes and Apple Music in January without his knowledge. He quickly made moves to take it down, iterating that it was never intended to be for sale and would always remain free for those who wanted a copy.