Drake was hit with a lawsuit in 2014 over the vocal sample that opens his JAY Z-featured Nothing Was the Same record “Pound Cake/Paris Morton Music 2.” The copyright infringement lawsuit was filed by jazz artist Jimmy Smith. Smith’s 1982 track “Jimmy Smith Rap,” as well as “Don’t Say A Word” by Ellie Goulding, “Jimmy Smith Rap” by Jimmy Smith, and “C.R.E.A.M.” by Wu-Tang Clan were sampled on the song, which was produced by Boi-1da and Jordan Evans. Yesterday, a judge ruled that the sample is fair use, THR reported, and that there is no liability for copyright infringement. As noted by Pitchfork, U.S. District Court judge William H. Pauley III explains:
In the original, Smith says, “Jazz is the only real music that’s gonna last. All that other bullshit is here today and gone tomorrow. But jazz was, is and always will be.” In Drake’s version, it’s cut down to, “Only real music’s gonna last. All that other bullshit is here today and gone tomorrow.” Judge Pauley notes that Smith’s original “is an unequivocal statement on the primacy of jazz over all other forms of popular music” while Drake’s version turns it into “a statement that ‘real music,’ with no qualifiers, is ‘the only thing that’s gonna last.’”
Because the purpose of the “Pound Cake” edit is “sharply different” from Smith’s original message, Judge Pauley argues Drake’s use “adds something new” and is “transformative.” Therefore, he writes, “this factor weighs in favor of a finding of fair use.”
Check out a more extensive report on the case here. Listen to “Pound Cake/Paris Morton Music 2” and compare it to the original “Jimmy Smith Rap” below.