Bri Babineaux, a famous gospel singer, and artist says she did not give rapper Kanye West approval to use her vocals on his newly released album, Donda.
In the last few years, Babineaux made a name for herself when her performance of B. Slade's Make Me Over went viral online in 2015. Her single He's My Rock later went to No. 1 on the Billboard Gospel Airplay Charts Bri has since developed a following in the gospel community, with burgeoning popularity online
Bri's viral cover of Make Me Over was later sampled in one of Kanye's latest tracks, "Lord, I Need You." In an Instagram post on her account, Bri says, "Thank you to everyone who congratulated me on the #Donda album" She pauses to note that "I had no knowledge of this beforehand."
Bri continues. "It would have been nice to know before the album came out smh...Who does that voice sound like to ya'll?" While the track does change the voice and add bass reverberations, the track does maintain similarities to her original video.
B. Slade, who wrote the original version of the song, responded to Babineaux's claims, noting that "But you didn't call ME to clear your version of the song that was sampled, though. You were discovered by doing a rendition of a song that I wrote 100%……So Kanye stole nothing because he came to the rightful owner of the song legally. Let's all be clear here." Slade says that West got approval to use his song from her by contacting him.
Donda was released on Sunday and has seen significant sales since, reaching the No. 1 charts on iTunes and Billboard by Tuesday.
The album also sparked controversy when West accused his label, Universal Music, of releasing his album without his permission.