Kanye West has built his career on innovative sampling techniques, but now he’s facing backlash for one of his latest artistic choices. Renowned house music producer and DJ David Morales has voiced his concern over a sample in “I Love It,” West’s new collaboration with Cuban-Mexican rapper Lil Pump and Adele Givens. On Facebook, the New York-born Puerto Rican legend posted a video accusing West of lifting the bass line from an instrumental mix he made by Alexander O’Neal’s “What Is This Thing Called Love?”
In the video, Morales explains, “I’m getting all these messages that [Kanye West] sampled a record I did over 25 years ago…it’s a bass line from one of my dub mixes,” he says, ad-libbing the hook from the Lil Pump and Kanye West collaboration. According to Discogs, Morales’ production was released in 1991.
Morales alleges that no one from West’s team reached out to clear the sample. “Nobody asked me any permission, nobody gave me any love, no points, no royalties – not even a coupon to Walmart,” he says. “But nonetheless, I’m going on record – this is my bassline.” Remezcla has reached out to both Sony Music Entertainment and Flyte Tyme Tunes/Avant Garde Music Publishing for comment on the sample clearance.
Morales is an influential figure in house music; in the 1980s, he regularly performed at legendary New York nightclubs like Paradise Garage and The Loft. Alongside Chicago house pioneer Frankie Knuckles, Morales started the company Def Mix Productions to manage their work.
In recent months, West has faced other allegations of failing to properly clear samples in his music. The label Numero Group claims they were never contacted about source material for a Kanye West-produced song on Teyana Taylor’s album K.T.S.E. And after Yeezy released his album ye, experimental club label Pan claimed West lifted music from one of their compilations in the song “I Thought About Killing You.”
Remezcla will update this post as soon as more information becomes available. Listen to the instrumental mix of “What Is This Thing Called Love?” and “I Love It” below.