Page Six is reporting that a rapped named Kidd Wes has filed court documents over the likeness of the track to his own, called “Made in America”, which came out two years earlier in 2016.
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Kidd Wes is calling out Childish Gambino for copyright infringement on the issue, and court documents are alleging that the songs have a “substantially similar unique ‘flow,’” as well as “the lyrical theme, content, and structure of the identically-performed choruses.”
His lawyers also claim the similarity is “striking to an extent beyond coincidence.”
The documents even reference University of Miami musicologist, Dr. Brent Swanson, who is dubbed an evidentiary witness.
“There are distinct similarities in melodic contour, rhythmic triplet flow in each performance, and the lines ‘Made in America’ and ‘This is America’ line up nearly perfectly in time despite being different tempos,” the professor wrote. “They also both use rhythmic utterances in their performances.”
Kidd Wes also provided a statement to the paper, saying that the suit is not about the money. If he wins the suit, he could end up with millions.
“It’s not about the money … it’s about the respect of the independent artist,” he shared. “I’ve had so many friends in the industry that were afraid to come up and say something, that they worked hours in the studio for, because a name was bigger than them. I just want this to be the end of an old era and the opening of a new one.”
He added, “Creativity is what makes this industry what it is … that’s what this is solely about, respecting the art of one another.”
Childish Gambino‘s “This Is America” won four Grammys at the 2019 ceremony, including song of the year.