Today in “artists keep suing each other”: TMZ reports that the jazz musicians Willie Jones III and Eric Reed are suing Kendrick Lamar for stealing the music that became his song “Rigamortis.” “Rigamortis” was one of the singles on Section 80, the 2011 album that made Kendrick a rap cult hero, before Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City made him a major breakout star. Jones and Reed are saying that “Rigamortis” is stolen wholesale from “The Thorn,” a 2010 jazz instrumental credited to Jones. They’re saying Kendrick (and, presumably, producers Willie B and Sounwave) stole the music and just added Kendrick’s lyrics, and they’re also saying that “Rigamortis” is the song that made Kendrick a star, which seems like a stretch. “Rigamortis” is based on a horn loop that sounds a lot like a sped-up version of one of the riffs on “The Thorn,” but if Jones and Reed are really trying to say that Kendrick owes them his entire career, that just seems crazy. Either way, they’re suing him for at least $1 million, as well as all profits and rights to “Rigamortis.” Listen to both songs and make up your own mind below.
Man, “Rigamortis.” What a song.