Did Kanye West steal a Hungarian song?
The matter has been going around the Hungarian press since it first came up a few years ago. According to szeretlekmagyarorszag.hu, what happened was that American rap star Kanye West used a part of the 1969 Omega hit song, Gyöngyhajú lány in his song called New Slaves and the Hungarian composer of the song, Gábor Presser thinks that he didn’t pay its real value.
So the rapper first asked for permission to use a part of the iconic Hungarian song in 2013. Gábor Presser wasn’t against the deal; he just wanted to make a contract before giving permission. Kanye reportedly sent 10 thousand dollars to Presser in order to facilitate the negotiations. But Presser claims that he didn’t cash a cheque and he is now suing Kanye West with 2,5 million dollars.
Gábor Presser’s full announcement:
“The unfortunate and hurtful fuss about the usage of Gyöngyhajú lány has been going on for three years now. The lawyers of Kanye West’s firms and the judicial office representing us haven’t been able to agree up to this day.
I’ve been waiting for three years and watching what was happening to the song but I had to realise that there were no options left than to turn to the court. This might last for further years.
The sum in question obviously reflects the proportions of the American music industry and, of course, it doesn’t have a bowing acquaintance with the income of Hungarian composers.
I think it’s destined to signal that this is now a ‘world market’ issue and that in a Western Superstar–East European composer direction the best method is probably not for the bigger, stronger to take it all. We might win, we might lose, but at least I won’t regret or think that I didn’t even try to defend myself.”
Omega – Gyöngyhajú lány (The Girl with Pearl’s Hair)
Kanye West – New Slaves
Copy editor: bm