Rapper Kendrick Lamar is the latest artist to get caught up in a copyright controversy. According to reports, Lamar and his label Top Dawg Music are being sued for using a Bill Withers sample in his song “I Do This,” featured on his 2013 mixtape. The lawsuit is being filed by Mattie Music Group, which owns the rights to the 1975 Withers song allegedly sampled. “The musical composition “I Do This” consists of nothing more than new, so-called Rap or Hip Hop lyrics, set to the existing music of “Don’t Want You To Stay,” reads the lawsuit. Mattie Music Group is suing Lamar, TDE, Warner Bros. Music, and Warner/Chappell for copyright infringement. They said Lamar previously openly admitted to sampling the song. This isn’t the first time he’s found himself in legal trouble. In 2013, Lamar was sued by a freelance photographer who claimed he used his work for “The Blacker the Berry” cover art. He also was sued in 2014 for sampling a song that was originally created by The Alan Parsons Project. Read more.
Democrats to Take Legal Action Against Arizona for Primary Election Disaster
National Democrats are taking action against the state of Arizona following a primary election disaster. The primary election in Maricopa, the state’s most populated county, limited the amount of places where people could cast their votes. The amount of voting sites dropped from 200 during the 2012 presidential primary to a mere 60, causing thousands of people to wait in line for hours to cast their ballots. The Arizona Democratic Party is teaming up with the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to file a lawsuit. “Republicans are using every tool, every legal loophole and every fear tactic they can think of to take aim at voting rights wherever they can,” said DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. “And what they’re aiming at is clear — they want nothing less than to disenfranchise voting groups who are inconvenient to them on Election Day. That’s exactly what Arizona’s officials did when they closed polling locations and rejected thousands of provisional ballots, and it’s exactly what they’ll continue to do if left unchecked.” They are slated to file the lawsuit on Friday. Read more.
As MLB Celebrates Jackie Robinson, Lack of Diversity Still Remains
It’s been 69 years since legendary baseball player Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in the MLB. Although the league will celebrate Robinson’s accomplishments on Friday, the milestone has put the focus on the lack of diversity in baseball. The number of Blacks on Major League Baseball teams is nearing historically low levels. According to USA Today Sports, the African-American population in baseball is 8 percent. In regards to pitchers, out of 449, only 15 are African-American. “When you think about it, the black pitchers have almost become extinct,” said Arizona Diamondbacks GM Dave Stewart. “There are a lot of reasons, I don’t know if any of them are valid, but it seems like a lot of teams take black pitchers and convert them to infielders or outfielders. I know it happened a lot in the past, so maybe it’s still happening.” Others believe the reason for the lack of diversity on the pitcher’s mound is that teams aren’t investing in Black players. “The reason you don’t see a black player converted into being a pitcher is because teams don’t have money invested in them. Most of the white pitchers being converted, you have money invested in them,’’ said Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker. Read more.
Kerry Washington Discusses Anita Hill Story
Actress Kerry Washington steps into the shoes of law attorney Anita Hill—the woman who accused U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment back in 1991—for her role in the upcoming movie, Confirmation. “As a legal scholar, she really believed in the sanctity of the court and felt it was her responsibility to have that information out there. I don’t know if I would be able to do what she did. For the Supreme Court — or the head of a studio,” she said during an interview. She hopes this project will inspire individuals to stand for what they believe in: “Our country works only when we participate. Not just when we show up at the polls, but when the phones are ringing off the hook. That’s the American people saying, ‘Do your job. Listen to me.’” Read more.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty