*A former soul singer heard something familiar in Kanye West’s new “Bound 2” single and has taken legal action.
Ricky Spicer, the former member of The Ponderosa Twins Plus One, filed a lawsuit on Monday in New York court against West, as well as Roc-a-Fella Records, Universal Music Group and Island Def Jam Music Group, reports Billboard. The suit states that Spicer is seeking an injunction and damages for alleged violations of New York civil right of publicity law (section 51), unjust enrichment and common law copyright infringement.
Spicer’s vocal is the audible, though altered, vocal heard throughout the chorus of the Yeezus track, singing the lyrics, “Bound, bound / Bound to fall in love.” The suit states that the audio was sampled without his authorization, and that he has yet to receive any compensation, despite the single’s success.
The suit summarizes that Spicer, who grew up in the Ohio Boys Town group home after his single mother suffered psychological injuries following an automobile accident, was discovered after singing with friends at a local high school talent competition.
Chuck Brown of Suru Records introduced him to The Ponderosa Twins, and the group recorded “Bound” when Spicer was twelve years old. Though he performed with Gladys Knight and James Brown, the court papers say that “for all of his accomplishments, Mr. Spicer was not fairly compensated.”
He then exited the music business soon after, but still maintains a friendly relationship with the two living, yet incarcerated, members of The Ponderosa Twins Plus One, Kirk and Keith Gardner, who have both conveyed a power of attorney to Spicer.
West’s “Bound 2” also samples from Wee’s 1977 track, “Aeroplane (Reprise),” and borrows the oft-repeated “Uh huh, honey” from Brenda Lee’s 1959 song, “Sweet Nothin’s.”
Compare the two tracks below: