chance the rapper

Chance the Rapper Faces Lawsuit Over A Sample On His First Mixtape

Chance the Rapper has been sued for copyright infringement by former jazz musician and current civil rights lawyer Lonnie Liston Smith, who alleges that the Chicago rapper used a portion of his 1980 recording “Bridge Through Time,” distributed by Columbia Records, on the song “Windows,” which can be found on Chance’s pre-fame 10 Day mixtape, released in 2012.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Smith’s lawsuit complains that Chance ‘blatantly and willfully infringed’ on “Bridge Through Time,” for which he registered a copyright in May of 1979. Smith’s attorneys claim that they reached out to Chance’s legal team, who “refused to take any action to halt access to the infringing song.” Judging by the introductory portions of both tracks, it appears that Smith has a legitimate gripe.

Initially, the 10 Day mixtape was uploaded to the internet as a free project, and it remained a free project even after Chance’s celebrity exploded. However, earlier this year in January, Chance tweeted about the mixtape being “fraudulently” uploaded to paid platforms like iTunes and Apple Music. It’s since been taken down.

The upload and removal of the project may play a key role in Smith’s case, as the musician—who played with Miles Davis and Pharaoh Sanders over the years—is asked a federal judge to order Chance to stop “copying, distributing, performing, selling or offering to sell” the track. “Bridge Through Time” has been sampled by several artists, including UGK and Jay-Z.

Regardless, as HipHopDX points out, an artist can still be found guilty of copyright infringement in the case of a free release—Mac Miller’s issues with “Kool Aid and Frozen Pizza” sampling Lord Finesse is one fairly recent reminder. “The free K.I.D.S. mixtape was used to help launch Mac Miller’s career,” wrote acclaimed author Amir Said last year, who added that the Pittsburgh rapper used the free project, which featured “Kool Aid,” to “earn revenue from shows and other means.”

Chance hasn’t yet publicly commented on the lawsuit.

Related Posts


Chance The Rapper Announces ‘Spring Tour 2017’ Dates


Chance the Rapper Takes Home Three Grammys, Makes History

Music Video
Music Video

Watch Chance The Rapper’s New “Same Drugs” Video


Anderson Paak Previews Upcoming Collaboration With Chance The Rapper


Chance the Rapper to Bring Voter Registration with NAACP to Magnificent Coloring World Tour


Latest News

nas-rapture Film


Mass Appeal’s new Netflix series premieres this weekend at SXSW
same Hot Takes

It Was a Type Beat Year

The search for something new in a year of sameness
shea serrano Features

Shea Serrano Quit His Teaching Job, Now He Has Two Best Sellers and Two TV Shows

"It is funny to just walk in and just be a Mexican, because I’m usually the only one there"
mf doom Features

The 10 Best DOOM Songs of 2017, Ranked

Even after 'The Missing Notebook Rhymes' went missing, the masked villain still caused havoc
worst cops Features

The Worst Cops of 2017

The hall of shame
donald trump Features

32 Songs That Dissed Donald Trump in 2017

The "F.D.T." wave
lil peep News

R.I.P. Gus, Long Live Lil Peep

Resisting nostalgia at the speed of the internet
88 rising Features

Sean Miyashiro of 88rising Connected the Cultures

With 1.25 million YouTube subscribers and a gang of talent, 88rising controlled the new East-West flow
eminem Video

Eminem By the Numbers

You may know how many f*cks he gives, but what about the other crucial figures from Slim Shady's career?
tape Features

Why 2017 Was Rap’s Year of the Tape

Seven labels explain why they're still rewinding cassettes back
safdie brothers Features

The Safdie Brothers Got Gritty as 2017’s Filmmakers to Watch

"You might not like the feeling that you're feeling, but you can still be entertained by that feeling."
best albums Features

The 25 Best Albums of 2017

The essential sounds that defined one very strange year
hey arnold Humor

Everything About Christmas is Awful, Except the ‘Hey Arnold!’ Special

The one redeeming thing about this trash holiday
combat-jack Features

Knowledge Darts Vol. 32: Winter Solstice

I never got to say thank you
jeezy Video

Open Space: Jeezy

"You can’t just crush a diamond with a rock. It’s hard, it’s tough. But it’s bright."

Rhythm Roulette: Boi-1da

The wait is over