Kendrick Lamar’s label Top Dawg Entertainment has lost a copyright infringement case. The case is regarding Canadian rapper Jonathan Emile, who released the song “Heaven Help Dem” featuring a verse from Kendrick Lamar back in 2015. Not long after, the song was hit with copyright takedown notices and removed from YouTube and SoundCloud. Emile then countersued for damages in the small claims court against Top Dawg in addition to distributors Interscope and Universal Music Group.
Last month, the court ruled in favor of Emile and awarded him $8,600 CAD (approximately $6,400 USD) in addition to five percent interest. Emile explained that he had secured Kendrick’s verse after cold-contacting the rapper: “We paid Kendrick Lamar for a feature, and once we paid them, they basically stopped communicating with us altogether,” he said. Aside from having the song taken down, Emile said he also had to “to clear [his] name” because “a lot of folks really did think that the [Kendrick] verse was stolen.” Check out the song above and let us know what you think.