“The content of the choruses is entirely different and not substantially similar."
The ongoing legal drama surrounding Childish Gambino’s iconic 2016 hit song This Is America has finally come to an end.
In a major win for the artist, real name Donald Glover, the copyright lawsuit filed against him by Miami-based rapper Kidd Wes was dismissed in a New York federal court on Friday, March 24.
Wes, real name Emelike Wesley Nwosuocha, filed the suit in 2021 after claiming Gambino had stolen the song's hook from his own track, Made In America.
Hed alleged that the two songs shared an “unmissable substantial similarity of the two flows used in the songs’ respective hooks, as augmented by the two hooks’ substantially similar structure and lyrical content, is striking to an extent beyond coincidence and is accordingly audible to the average lay person who listens to both songs.”
Despite this, U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero has since ruled that the tracks were “not substantially similar”.
“A cursory comparison with the challenged composition reveals that the content of the choruses is entirely different and not substantially similar,” Marrero wrote.
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He claimed that Nwosuocha’s words were a “short, simple, self-aggrandising proclamation” and Glover‘s were on “what America means and how it is perceived.”
“More could be said on the ways these songs differ, but no more airtime is needed to resolve this case,” he added.
Nwosuocha’s lawyers have since revealed to Billboard that their client is “understandably disappointed” over the ruling.
“Mr. Nwosuocha is understandably disappointed, and is considering an appeal of the decision,” his attorneys said.
“He stands by his music, creativity, and the independence of grassroots artists to create their own music, and receive credit where credit is due, without the fear of it being apportioned by another.”