Lil Nas X will finally have his first taste of true celebrity status as the 20-year-old rapper and record label Sony have been hit with a $25 million lawsuit over an uncleared Bobby Caldwell sample.
Music publisher The Music Force alleges that Nas X and his producer allegedly used portions of Caldwell’s 1982 song of the same name, “Carry On,” for the rapper’s 2018 track. The music publishing company also alleges the two were “motivated by greed and malicious intent” as the original #YouTube video has gained over four million views.
The suit claims that X posted his song to various other social channels that appropriated aspects of Caldwell’s “Carry On” without explicit permission. Court documents also allege the original song was copyrighted in 1983.
The Music Force included Sony in the lawsuit due to their recent signing of the Georgia rapper. The Music Force reportedly believes Sony’s failure to clear the sample also makes them liable.
“Sony elected to take no action to stop this illegal, unauthorized infringement as it was far more important to Sony to preserve its opportunity to enjoy millions of dollars of revenues from the success of the career of X,” the lawsuit read.
The company is seeking $10 million in damages and an additional $15 million in punitive damages, as they claim Lil Nas’ appropriation has devalued Caldwell’s original.