Internationally-renowned Bishop T.D. Jakes is vowing to file a lawsuit against popular rappers Young Jeezy and Kendrick Lamar for sampling portions of his sermon without his consent.
Jakes, the influential televangelist who transformed a tiny West Virginia-based congregation into a transcontinental religious empire called The Potter’s House in Dallas, took umbrage when he learned that Jeezy and Lamar used a part of his sermon for their song “Holy Ghost” remix.
Jakes took to Facebook to announce that he will take legal action against the duo as he revealed he did not give the rappers consent to use any portion of his “Don’t Let Chatter Stop You” speech delivered in 2013.
“The Holy Ghost” remix by Jeezy featuring Kendrick Lamar was produced without the knowledge or consent of T.D. Jakes, TDJ Enterprises, Dexterity Music or its associated companies,” the Facebook post explained. “We are taking the necessary legal actions to stop the unauthorized use of T.D. Jakes’ intellectual property.”
The sampled clip features roughly 20 seconds of Jakes’ speech in the very beginning of the track. Legal pundits don’t believe the lawsuit will hold its own in court, but the minister remains undeterred. “I’m under attack, but I’m still on fire,” Jakes roared amid a thundering congregation. “I’ve got some chatter, but I’m still on fire. I’ve got some threat, but I’m still on fire. I got some liabilities, but I’m still on fire. It’s not amazing that I’m on fire. I’ve been to hell and back, but I’m still on fire.”
While no reps for Jakes, 57, nor Jeezy or Kendrick have commented publicly about the lawsuit, legal experts are not sure that Jakes has a strong case. “This sounds like a strong fair use case,” Los Angeles lawyer Jonathan Kirsch told the Daily News. According to Kirsch, the 1994 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of the Miami rap group 2 Live Crew could be enough to let Jeezy and Kendrick off the hook. In that ruling, the judge decided that the group’s sampling of singer Roy Orbison’s “Oh, Pretty Woman” was fair use for parody purposes. However, the Rosa Parks camp successfully sued groundbreaking rap group OutKast for using her name in one of their songs without her expressed permission.