Legal threats magnet Kanye West is off the hook with at least one lawsuit that claimed he stole copyrighted material. The Vultures 1 rapper – accused last week of sampling Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” and Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” without permission from Ozzy Osbourne or Summer’s estate – is no longer facing claims he uploaded the video of his infamous Thanksgiving 2021 “Kimye” rant to Instagram without the consent of the volunteer who filmed it.
Videographer Elijah Graham sued West in federal court in Los Angeles last October. He had recorded West grabbing the mic at an event serving a holiday meal homeless people on Los Angeles’ Skid Row and lamenting the breakup of his marriage to Kim Kardashian. In the video that quickly went viral, West claimed his divorce would be derailed by divine intervention. “The narrative that God wants is for you to see that everything can be redeemed,” he said, according to a portion of the video shared by People.
In new paperwork obtained by Rolling Stone, lawyers for Graham are asking that the lawsuit be dismissed with prejudice, meaning it can’t be filed again. The move follows shortly after a federal judge said the case was not being “prosecuted diligently” and was on the verge of being spiked. Lawyers for both Graham and West did not immediately respond to requests for comment sent Monday.
In the initial lawsuit, Graham claimed he recorded his video on Nov. 24, 2021, with the hope of making money off it. He said West illegally siphoned all the profits when the video went viral on West’s Instagram account instead.
“In all these relationships, we’ve made mistakes. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve publicly done things that were not acceptable as a husband. But right now, today, for whatever reason — I didn’t know I was going to be standing right here, I didn’t know I was going to be in front of this mic — but I’m here to change that narrative. I’m not letting E! write the narrative of my family,” West said in the recording, referring to the network that originated Kardashian’s hit reality show.
“I am the priest of my home. I have to be next to my children as much as possible,” he said. “If the enemy can separate Kimye, there’s going to be millions of families that feel like that separation is okay. But when the kingdom, when God… brings Kimye together, there’s going to be millions of families that are going to be influenced to see that they can overcome the the separation, the trauma that the devil has used to capitalize to keep people in misery while people step over homeless people to go to the Gucci store.”
A year after his Thanksgiving visit, West purportedly sent his team back to Skid Row to hand out “White Lives Matter” shirts. It was that same month that West tweeted his plans to “go death con 3 ON JEWISH PEOPLE.” He later apologized in an Instagram post written in Hebrew, but then he again promoted antisemitic ideology, sporting a T-shirt for the Norwegian metal musician Burzum, who has been fined for antisemitism. He also promoted Vultures 1 with artwork that evoked Burzum’s cover art.
Ozzy Osbourne and wife Sharon Osbourne weren’t buying Ye’s apology when they took to social media friday to blast his “Iron Man” sample in the Vultures 1 song “Carnival.” “Kanye West asked permission to sample a section of a 1983 live performance of ‘Iron Man’ from the Us Festival without vocals & was refused permission because he is an antisemite and has caused untold heartache to many,” the singer wrote in capital letters. “He went ahead and used the sample anyway at his album listening party last night. I want no association with this man!”
Sharon, her husband’s manager, followed up later in the day: “We are considering legal action,” she said in a statement. “Ozzy has not spoken to Kanye but our team have spoken with theirs.” When Vultures 1, a collaborative album with Ty Dolla $ign, hit streaming platforms Friday night, the uncleared sample was replaced.
The estate for late disco diva Donna Summer, meanwhile, took to Instagram Saturday to accuse West of copyright infringement over her enduring hit “I Feel Love.” “Kanye West… asked permission to use Donna Summer’s song ‘I Feel Love,’ he was denied… He changed the words, had someone re-sing it or used AI but it’s ‘I Feel Love’… copyright infringement!” the Instagram Story read.
The Vultures 1 song “Good (Don’t Die),” features a voice singing the unmistakable lyrics, “I’m alive, I’m alive, I’m alive, I’m alive, ohhhh,” with a similar melody and cadence to the Summer original. A rep for West did not respond to Rolling Stone’s request for comment on the estate’s post.
Beyond his latest project, West was being sued in Los Angeles by his former accountant. That case also was dismissed by the plaintiff, according to a filing on Jan. 2.