Kanye West has finally obtained a new lawyer in his ongoing Donda 2 sample lawsuit.
The Chicago rap icon was sued back in June over an allegedly unauthorized sample on his Donda sequel.
A complaint filed in U.S. District Court in New York on June 29 claimed Kanye’s song “Flowers” sampled Marshall Jefferson’s 1986 Chicago house hit “Move Your Body” without proper permission or compensation.
The suit was filed on behalf of Jefferson’s publisher, Ultra International Music Publishing (UIMP), and claimed Ye had acknowledged he sampled “Move Your Body” without authorization, yet “continue[d] to willfully infringe in blatant disregard of UIMP’s rights of ownership.”
The suit also listed Alex Klein, co-creator of the Stem Player, the innovative $200 device through which Donda 2 was exclusively released — along with his company Kano Computing Limited.
New court documents obtained by AllHipHop show that Peter Hawke has now signed on to help West push back against Ultra Music Publishing.
The paperwork was filed on Tuesday (February 21) with the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. UIMP is seeking damages, profits, a cease in distribution and a jury trial.
Ye was originally represented by New York City law firm Greenberg Traurig, but following his antisemitic tirades last year, their relationship quickly fell apart. Greenberg sought to end their professional relationship but for the longest time couldn’t locate Kanye.
Greenberg even asked United States District Judge Analisa Torres to run an ad in multiple Los Angeles newspapers to try and get his attention. While the judge denied that motion, she suggested Greenberg hire a private investigator to track down his client. West was finally served the appropriate papers on February 1.
Kanye West’s former business manager, Thomas St. John, has also been unable to reach the polarizing rap star after recently suing him for breach of contract.
St. John claims that his and West’s professional relationship began in March 2022, when the rapper agreed to keep him on a monthly retainer of $300,000 as payment to be his business manager and the Chief Marketing Officer of all things related to the Donda brand.