Rapper Kendrick Lamar has been hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit over his Rihanna collaboration, Loyalty.
Producer Terrance Hayes claims the hip-hop star's Grammy-winning 2017 release copies "the entire composition, including title, melody, harmony and rhythm" from his own 2011 song, and he traces it back to mutual associate, musician Josef Leimberg, who had previously contributed to Lamar's 2015 album, To Pimp A Butterfly.
According to legal papers filed in California on 21 August, the MC would have had access to Hayes' work through Leimberg, including a 2016 remix of the original Loyalty, which he believes was used by Kendrick's producer Terrace Martin, who "slowed it down through a synthesiser and combined it with another sample to disguise the copying".
Hayes argues even the subject matter of Kendrick's tune is "similar" to his own, and he is demanding a jury trial to determine damages, although he is seeking to be awarded "all profits of Defendants", as well as "any other monetary advantage gained by the Defendants through their infringement".
Leimberg and Martin are listed as defendants alongside Kendrick and his label and management representatives at Top Dawg Entertainment, reports Music Business Worldwide.
Publicists for Kendrick have yet to comment on the allegations.