Soul Singer Alleges That Kanye West and Solange Knowles Illegally Sampled His Track

Larry Busacca/Getty Images; Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Prince Phillip Mitchell, also known as Leon Mitchell, isn’t the sort of household name that Kanye West and Solange are. Still, if you listened to Kanye’s Graduation (the 2007 album went double platinum, so it’s safe to say that most of us have), Mitchell’s work will be familiar to you; his song “If We Can’t Be Lovers” provides the backbone to Kanye’s introspective “Everything I Am.”

Solange taps the song similarly for “Fuck the Industry,” a track that was packaged in with the reissue of 2008’s Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams.

Mitchell, who is credited as a co-writer on both Kanye’s and Solange’s songs, is filing a copyright-infringement lawsuit against the artists claiming that he was never actually asked for permission to use the songs.


According to TMZ, Mitchell’s suit alleges that Kanye and Solange willfully committed the infringement. Solange’s song was originally supposed to appear on a mixtape called I Can’t Get Clearance (the project was scrapped).

Mitchell is seeking punitive damages and wants Kanye and Solange to stop performing the tracks and pull them from the radio—where, frankly, those songs weren’t being played much.

Share This Story

About the author

Anne Branigin

Staff writer, The Root. Sometimes I blog slow, sometimes I blog quick. Do you have this in coconut?