news letterOur mobile application

Weekly newsletter

The “Pearly-Haired Lady” Goes To Court: Kanye West Sued By Hungarian Songwriter

Robert Velkey 2016.05.23.

Hungarian Gábor Presser, who is one of East-Central Europe’s most popular pop-rock artists and also a film and theatre composer, has claimed that the last part of Kanye’s “New Slaves” features one of his songs, called Gyöngyhajú lány. Pearls in her hair, as the English translation of the song’s lyrics goes, is one of the best known Hungarian songs written by Presser when he was member of the legendary rock band Omega, back in 1969.

You can listen to the original song by Omega, written by Gábor Presser, here:

The 68-year-old icon gave West permission to use part of his song Gyöngyhajú lány before it was released in 2013, but only if a formal licence agreement had been worked out. The Hungarian singer-songwriter said Kanye sent him a $10k advance to push the deal through, but Presser says he never cashed the check. Presser is now suing the rapper for at least $2.5 million.

LGT_fortepan_88741Old times: Gábor Presser (far right), as member of the rock band LGT, back in 1976

This is the song’s “revised” version, by the American rapper:

This isn’t the first time Kanye has been sued over a Yeezus sample. Back in 2013, Ponderosa Twins Plus One singer Ricky Spicer said he wasn’t properly compensated for the sample used in “Bound 2.” Earlier this year, Kanye and TIDAL were both sued by disgruntled fans who claimed they were deceived into signing up for the service. Kanye West’s album, The Life of Pablo, was initially pegged as a TIDAL exclusive, drawing subscribers, but was soon after released to outlets like Apple Music and Spotify.