The New York rock band Yeasayer sued Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, Doc McKinney and Frank Dukes, claiming they sampled without permission a section from their 2007 track "Sunrise
." The alleged uncleared sample is a choral performance that appears on their song.
In their lawsuit, Yeasayer claim the defendants "extracted plaintiffs' choral performance from a recording of 'Sunrise,' slightly modified it, including, on information and belief, via postprocessing to alter its pitch, among other qualities, and then inserted the modified audio material into 'Pray For Me.'"
The Weeknd denied the allegations, responding in court documents: "Each and every allegation contained in the complaint not specifically admitted herein is denied. The sound recording of 'Pray for Me' does not capture any actual sounds from the sound record, 'Sunrise.'"
The case was dismissed on June 1, 2020 after Yeasayer stated their satisfaction that no copyright infringement ever occurred. Both sides agreed to cover their respective legal costs.