A Virginia man filed a federal copyright infringement lawsuit Friday against rapper Kanye West, claiming West’s Grammy-winning single “Stronger” uses lyrics taken from a song he wrote and recorded in Chicago in 2006.
Vincent Peters, a hip-hop artist known professionally as “Vince P.,” claims in the suit that he gave a copy of his version of “Stronger” to West’s business manager John Monopoly, hoping to convince Monopoly to become an executive producer on his prospective album project.
Peters claims in the suit that seven months after his record deal fell through, West released his single, also named “Stronger” on his album “Graduation.”
West’s song allegedly “copies significant and important parts of Peters’ lyrics identically or almost identically,” Peters claims in the suit.
Both songs use the phrases “that which does not kill me makes me stronger,” “can’t wait much longer,” the corrupted word “wronger” and include a reference to model Kate Moss, according to the suit.
West’s “Stronger” was the number one single on Billboard’s U.S. Hot 100 and Pop 100 charts, won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance and was dubbed in February to be the 16th most downloaded song on iTunes of all time, according to the suit.
Defendants named in the suit are Roc-a-fella Records, a New York record label, and UMG Recordings, its parent company.
The suit claims one count of copyright infringement and asks that West and the record labels be prohibited from selling, distributing or performing the allegedly copyrighted song, and that they destroy all copies they have of the single. It seeks an unspecified amount in damages.