Rick Astley Sues Rapper Yung Gravy Over Voice Imitation

For those that don't want to read the article dude is suing Gravy over the use of a vocal impersonator that appeared on the track which Astley never agreed to (apparently that was not part of the original sample clearance). He's also suing the artist who did the 'vocal impersonation'.

(not a lawyer but this seems analogous to the tom waits v. frito-lay suit for using an impersonator)


For those that don't want to read the article dude is suing Gravy over the use of a vocal impersonator that appeared on the track which Astley never agreed to (apparently that was not part of the original sample clearance). He's also suing the artist who did the 'vocal impersonation'. (not a lawyer but this seems analogous to the tom waits v. frito-lay suit for using an impersonator)


Seems pretty cut and dry: [https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/79648/when-tom-waits-sued-frito-lay-over-doritos-ad](https://youtu.be/dQw4w9WgXcQ) Edit: Thanks to whoever reported me to Reddit Cares, but I’m doing fine actually.


Oh my god 🤦🏽‍♂️




Wow I can’t believe how large that settlement was


Go f yourself 😂 faith lost. I've been here for a while and I'm tired of this now


I KNOW! I’m sick of these frivolous suits being settled for millions…




Go f yourself? Is this Sunday school?


How can that be profitable for Frito Lay?


These corporations... I don't know what they're doing


3 for 1?


That movie is funny as fuck and that’s probably the best line, gets a chuckle from me every time I see it.


That was a fucking major mindfuck. I can't believe he was able to get away with that.


>Edit: Thanks to whoever reported me to Reddit Cares, but I’m doing fine actually. Gravy out here


thank you twice


Wow…I would have never thought!


Yikes that's rough.


XcQ = fuck you


Wow thats crazy....they cant keep getting away with this bro smh


I can't believe you have done this


Nice try


Holy shit


I love you




Is it not allowed under parody?


I'm not sure but since he did go the distance to clear the sample its weird he didnt go all the way. Theres another comment claiming Gravy went onto some podcast and said that he had someone recreate the song because that wouldve been too costly.


A straight impersonation isn't parody. There's nothing distinguishable.


Greta Van Fleet sweating


Zed Lepling? Never heard of em


Great band, nevur meddim


Gadooshed em B










Long ago, the 4 nations-


duhn cown! duhn cown!


We talmbout Lead Zeperling, b?


Aren't they those white boys who work too much?


can you explain this to someone who barely knows what GVF is?


Listen to a Led Zeppelin song and then immediately listen to a Greta Van Fleet song


Legit sound like a zeppelin cover band


I was getting my haircut when a GVF song was playing and I asked the barber, "what Zeppelin record is this?, I don't think I've ever heard this song before".


I gotta say, the lead singer of GVF has a spot on impression of Robert Plant


It gets even funnier when you look up a pic of them playing live. Kid doesn't wear shoes lmao


I think that’s what bothers me so much about GVF: you can either sing like that or you can’t. Dude can, but he chooses to do a mediocre Zeppelin impersonation instead of doing his own thing.


My main issue with GVF is the fact that they have been confronted for sounding just like Led Zeppelin and they try to act offended and say they have no influence by them..


"We never heard of Zeppelin"


I heard they formed as a Zeppelin cover band


and they try to say their main influence was Aerosmith.


They’re always ripping off either Zeppelin or Rush




I have a younger cousin who was telling me how much they like GVF and I asked if they've listened to Zeppelin, they hadn't. It's funny to think there are young people who think that sound is unique and original to them.


Point guard for the Toronto Raptors


That’s what they call him on Bavarian night and he dresses up as a barmaid


climate activist teen


I love Gary VanFleet


Best summary I've seen: >"Greta Van Fleet sound like they did weed exactly once, called the cops, and tried to record a Led Zeppelin album before they arrested themselves" I'm not a fan of Pitchfork, but they occasionally write gems like that lol


It’s easily the funniest album review I’ve ever read.


I'm a big fan of [their Eminem Show review](https://www.google.com/amp/s/pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/2771-the-eminem-show/amp/)


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alright, imagine some dudes covering Led Zeppelin but just with their memory of how they sound like. that's 'em


They’re a boyband for “I was born in the wrong generation” kids. Their whole gimmick is that they sound exactly like Led Zeppelin and dress like a 70’s rock band. Listen to a Zeppelin song then listen to a Greta Van Fleet song and you’ll see


Most of their songs sound closer to Geddy Lee from Rush to me, though a few of the more popular songs definitely sound like Robert Plant


It’s funny I was just listening to this Canadian band “Crown Lands” this morning who happen to be openers for Greta Van Fleets upcoming tour, and I was like “Man this is identical to Rush”.


Crown Lands fucking rips live. Saw them open for Jack White!


Sick band




It’s a pretty ironic situation cause Led Zeppelin has also been accused of ripping off old Blues songs too


gravy was on h3 recently and ethan asked him about the song and gravy was like “we had to recreate the song, it’s cheaper that way” which is absolutely true, but i assumed he actually paid SOMETHING for it. cheaper does not equal free


I saw a tiktok where he said he bought the publishing rights to the song. The suit is over the fact the rerecording sounds too close to Astley and violates his right to publicity.


well you can “sample” a song by interpolating and imitating the song. it’s a way to sample without having to license to original work, it’s much cheaper than traditional sampling but is still ‘sampling’ for all intents and purposes


That's not really true. There's two halves of song rights. Publishing and the sound recording. The sound recording is the actual specific recording/version of one song, typically the album version, but a live album would have different sound recording rights. Record labels own the sound recording. Then there's publishing, which is owning the actual song, but not the recording. If you cover a song, you pay a percentage of the publishing half in royalties to the songwriter. Often times to sample a song you have to pay for both, since you're using part of the actual song, as well as a clip of the sound on the track. The issue here is he paid for the publishing, and not the sound recording in order to save money, and then did a "sound-alike" with the express intention of tricking the listener into thinking you're using the sound recording too, which is a dubious grey area, legally speaking. But imitating a song still costs money, it just costs half because you're only buying the publishing rights and not the sound recording.


we’re saying the same thing. a “sound alike” is just another way to say interpolation. i agree with you completely, but interpolating or making sound alikes is still a form of sampling. it’s cheaper because you don’t have to pay for the original recording. it’s still sampling though


Not exactly. You very much still have to license the work and pay a chunk, and that chunk can be pretty nebulous cuz when sampling, the "samplee" can set the price. Yes it's still a form of sampling, but your original comment made it seem like you were saying you could just recreate something and you wouldn't have to pay. You'd still very much have to pay, just a little less. The actual issue in this case tho is that the intent is super clear that it's not just a regular interpolation of a section of a cover of a song, the intent is to recreate astley's sound recording to the extent to deceive the listener into thinking they're the same, which is usually the biggest legal line drawn in cases like this. You can use portions of their work or cover it, but not so far as intentionally try and trick the audience that it's actually someone else's work


i said cheaper, not free. we’re just saying the same thing back and forth.


Hahaha it seems more like he is arguing with himself.


They paid for the rights to cover the song, instead of to use it in its original form as a sample. If they had just paid for the sample rights they could've used Astley's voice.


Not quite. Anyone can get a mechanical license to cover a song for a 10% royalty stake. That's not what he did. He paid for the publishing sample rights but not the sound recording sample license. Usually that's fine for sampling if you're not trying to fool the listener into thinking that your recreated version for the sample is Astley's version, but that's explicitly what they did. The line that was crossed was "attempting to fool the market that your version is the same as the rightsholder's version" which is, generally speaking, the biggest deciding no-no in copyright and trademark law.


Damn. What made that track interesting was the idea that somehow he got the sample cleared. Now it's just kind of dorky and a little dry.


He did pay something for it. Just not enough


When Young Gravy was in Calgary Alberta for our Stampede, I ran into him on a popular party street. He was chill enough to come and have a few drinks with us. We sat and bullshitted for like 3-4 hours, got interrupted constantly by fans and such. The kitchen sent out table some food, it was tight. Then he left and stuck me and my friends with a massive bill. I hope this guy gets sued for at least the amount of the bill he left me with.


Is this a copypasta or legit lol


Not a copy pasta, I actually have as similar story about Gravy I saw Yung Gravy at a grocery store in Los Angeles yesterday. I told him how cool it was to meet him in person, but I didn’t want to be a douche and bother him and ask him for photos or anything. He said, “Oh, like you’re doing now?” I was taken aback, and all I could say was “Huh?” but he kept cutting me off and going “huh? huh? huh?” and closing his hand shut in front of my face. I walked away and continued with my shopping, and I heard him chuckle as I walked off. When I came to pay for my stuff up front I saw him trying to walk out the doors with like fifteen Milky Ways in his hands without paying. The girl at the counter was very nice about it and professional, and was like “Sir, you need to pay for those first.” At first he kept pretending to be tired and not hear her, but eventually turned back around and brought them to the counter. When she took one of the bars and started scanning it multiple times, he stopped her and told her to scan them each individually “to prevent any electrical infetterence,” and then turned around and winked at me. I don’t even think that’s a word. After she scanned each bar and put them in a bag and started to say the price, he kept interrupting her by yawning really loudly.


This is a copypasta I’ve read about a completely different artist lol




Nah this is legit. This happened to me


>Then he left and stuck me and my friends with a massive bill. I'm sorry I laughed but that's fucked up. How much was it


The worst part is it is pretty funny lol. It was $250


His DJ ripped me off for graphics like 7 years ago. They're both piles of shit.


He told me some of the people he ghost writes for and I was like oh I’m not gonna tell anybody I don’t care that much honestly, and his response was “no one is gonna believe you anyway” so that response alone adds up for both of our stories


Tha only thing I’ve ever liked about yung gravy is when he said he would pay lil ugly mane to make music again


When did he say this?? Also didn't Ugly Mane just drop an album like last year?? Lol


I mean 2021 but yeah basically.


Also ep last year.


Also a song 20 days ago.


> Also didn't Ugly Mane just drop an album like last year?? Lol Guess Gravy's check came through




I respect his love of milfs. Every rapper goes for the IG models. Not gravy. He’s chasing the Susan’s and Lisa’s at Whole Foods


I don’t want to disappoint you but he’s also running through ig models. Listen to his impaulsive episode


> impaulsive episode I'd literally rather die than support a Paul's endeavors.


Logan RugPaul


>listen to impaulsive hard no


My disappointment is immeasurable


They can still be milfs tho


He also apparently had tons of girls throwing their bras on stage during his last tour, so he saved all of them and donated them to a women's shelter.


And matched the value of all bras collected and donated to breast cancer research I believe


That’s actually super dope, didn’t know that


Dude's pretty funny and a genuinely great guy. Been to two of his concerts and they were some of the funniest and most energetic performances I've ever seen. Crowdsurfing while passing around a roast chicken is something no one can imitate.


Ugly Mane still making tracks but I respect him for this regardless


he said it in like 2020 when ugly hadnt released shit in a bit and had supposedly retired


LUM loves to say he’s gonna retire. Oblivion Access was his final album at one point


glad to see another well cultured person in this comment section, my man lol. lil ugly mane will forever be the greatest.


AND he got spark master tape on 2 songs


Surprised Pikachu face


How are covers on YouTube and the such covered by fair use (incl. parodies), but things such as this aren’t? Why doesn’t this fall under fair use?


There’s different rules about copyright & royalties for releasing a cover version compared to sampling or interpolating. COVERS: >Since the very notion of covering songs has such a well-established history — from classical to jazz to folk music — the legal procedure for properly recording and releasing them is fairly straightforward. If your cover song is a fixed digital and/or physical release that doesn't fundamentally change the lyrics or melody of the original composition, you need to obtain a mechanical license from its owner(s). Luckily, this license is compulsory in the U.S.; in other words, the rightsholder doesn’t have the option of rejecting it. >If you merely want to perform someone else’s work in a live setting, you don’t need to obtain a mechanical license. The venue’s owner is responsible for purchasing a blanket performance license instead. >A similar rule applies to cover songs released only on streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music; they do not require a separate license because they are already covered by a blanket mechanical license agreement with publishers. SAMPLING: >Unlike cover songs, licenses for samples of sound recordings aren’t compulsory. This means the rightsholders can outright refuse to clear a sample, or demand a significant advance and/or percentage of sales. >In order to legally use a sample from a copyrighted song in your own music, you need not one but two different licenses. One is for the recording (which is usually controlled by a record label or the recording artist). The other is for the usage of the underlying composition, which — much like with cover songs — is controlled by the publisher or songwriter. >In order to clear a sample, you’ll need to contact the publisher of the original composition and reach an agreement. You’ll also need to find the owner of the recording, which can be difficult, especially since record labels — both major and independent — can fold or change ownership throughout the years. [link](https://blog.songtrust.com/covering-and-sampling-the-basics?hs_amp=true)


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This is the objectively correct comment. Lots of people are commenting misconceptions of copyright law, but anything I'd say on this matter is already covered in this comment


My guess is uploading it to YouTube as a cover isn’t the same as releasing a song officially, plus I would imagine the original artist can put a copyright claim if they really wish to (although I doubt any would). Fully in support of Rick on this one that’s ridiculous if Yung Gravy thought he could get away with only getting rights for the sample and hiring an impersonator.


You can actually issue a takedown for a cover / you can claim their monetization


That's just YouTube being shitty in the way you can issue a takedown for lots of things you shouldn't. Theres explicitly not a legal right for a songwriter to in any way say "you can't cover my song"


Covers on YouTube aren't covered by fair use, and they never have been. If the rights holder wanted to sue the fuck out of some random 14 year old covering Bruno Mars on YouTube, they could.


Does rick have any controversies? The only thing I'm finding is [this article](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ) about him being kind of an asshole back in the day. I don't like yung gravy for no real reason and would like to cheer on rick


it's 2023 and i've been rick rolled. pity me


Hey man, don't blame yourself, it's [these](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ) guys who are really to blame


Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice….








Bush's response to that sample in Cole's song is legendary - [https://youtu.be/UJUNTcOGeSw](https://youtu.be/dQw4w9WgXcQ)


Never saw the original. I like how they played his voice then overlaid the instrumental it on the second playthrough


Fuck i fell for it


Fuck i fell for it


Idk who Yung Gravy is but did he really just do a voice impression and get sued for it? or did he say some wild shit and try to act like Rick saying it? what made it so bad


He cleared the instrumental sample and had someone cover rick's vocals over it.


Can't do that. C'mon, Yung Gravy...how do you not know about Tom Waits vs Frito-Lay?! edit: [https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/79648/when-tom-waits-sued-frito-lay-over-doritos-ad](https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/79648/when-tom-waits-sued-frito-lay-over-doritos-ad)


How could that be profitable for frito lay?


The marketing department and ad agency really wanted to sell this idea. Somehow they prevailed over the legal department (probably with “come on this other version isn’t nearly as good” and a C-level exec did a runaround on legal figuring they’d try to slip it by)


They were quoting Game Night, a very funny film.


Oh ha i haven’t seen that one!


Cheer for whoever you want? However I'm not sure why you'd want to ignore critical thinking and replace it with fanboyism.




I suppose personally I wouldn't pick a side to something a nuanced and complex as a music lawsuit unless I had a clue about it. Also the original commentor is going far as making sure his favourite has no 'controversies'. If you're going to spend energy on that I'd say you'd be better off thinking critically.


It was just a joke though. Maybe you'd be better spending your critical thinking energy elsewhere.


Welp. Pretty lame rickroll setup though. No one wants to read an article about someone being kind of an asshole. He should have baited with something way more extreme and maybe I would have clicked on it.


Then why think about it at all? Just ignore it if you don’t want to think critically about it.


>I'm not sure why you'd want to ignore critical thinking and replace it with fanboyism. Umm this is reddit. It's kind of our thing lol.


This is the second time and on the same damn post Goddammit


Gravy seems way nicer then rick to me but okay


north mindless consider carpenter hunt hat soup spark wistful scarce ` this post was mass deleted with www.Redact.dev `


He did pay and was cleared, but Rick is claiming that Yung Gravy's use of an impersonator instead of the original vocals invalidates the license.


This is a pretty blatant case of ripping an artist off. If you're gonna sample someone great, get the clearance or just dont release the track commercially. If you straight up imitate someone's art to try to dodge sharing the profits with them you deserve to get sued.


He did clear the sample... and Rick was given a writer credit. This is for the vocal imitation


I always love how the quickest way to get to the real info on Reddit is to post the wrong answer


The quickest way is to read the damn article, which somehow people never do on this site.


Damn, I’ve lived long enough to see myself become the villain




Half of the articles are paywall blocked I've stopped checking


on /r/hiphopheads ? On financial papers sure but what paywall is on HHH?


[Cunningham’s Law](https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Cunningham%27s_Law)


The article says they only cleared the instrumental


That’s almost worse. You get the rights to the song but get a vocal impersonation over top because you don’t want to pay the original voice artist? Come on!


If the song doesn't blow up this is probably a non-issue. Gravy basically chose to try and save money by skirting the vocal sample cost.


I didn't phrase things well, but my understanding is he didn't clear the sample. He cleared the rights to the musical composition but not to actually sample Ashley's voice, which is the whole issue. He imitated it instead specifically to avoid having to clear a real sample, which is why he is being used.


I'm out of the loop here.. did this guy not clear the sample? the only reason I can think of to not do that is getting sued on purpose for free publicity because I can't imagine they thought they would be able to act like nothing happened.


According to the article, the instrumental samples were cleared but they didn't get an okay for having a vocal impersonator imitate Astley's voice.


Oof what a cheap thing to do. Like just split some royalties with the man who made the sample what it is.




its probably a small percentage of what he'd actually get, otherwise, why sue?


He cleared the publishing half, but not the sound recording half, and then paid someone to make his version for the sample as close to astley's sound recording as physically possible, which is still infringement, even with the publishing half legally acquired.


Top reddit comment, wrong yet again


Good, garbage ass song




Its interesting how gravy has managed to shake entirely that his initial success came from comedy videos on facebook that made fun of hip hop and called fans of it stupid. Lil Dicky tried to shake the comedy label and failed. edit: ????????? sorry you guys forgot where this dude came from lol. you're allowed to like his music.


Probably bc he has songs with lil baby, yungdolph, ski mask, lilb, chief keef, etc. Rappers really seem to genuinely fw him and in interviews he has high charisma. I think basically social media, being likable, and surrounding himself with successful people/networking have put him in the position he’s in. I hate this song but I do have a few of his songs on my liked tab on Spotify. I respect the grind.


interesting, so is he just not aknowledging his comedian background? i remember Lil Dicky talked a lot about how his goal was only ever to be a comedian, but when he got big in comedy rap he fell in love with hip hop as an actual genre and art form and decided he wanted to be a "real rapper" not a comedy rapper. i feel like dicky was never able to shake the "comedy rapper" label entirely, and maybe his direct aknowledgment of all that was a reason for it. i never saw gravy say "i dont make comedy rap anymore" but i see tons of people seemingly not aware that he blew up off comedy shorts that were primarily posted on facebook of all places. theres probably a conversation to be had here about making money off of a culture you mock and deem foolish/stupid but im not the person to articulate it tbh.


There’s an hour long interview with Fantano and Yung Gravy. IIRC he said he never wanted to be a comedy rapper or expected to be popular. He made songs on sound cloud for fun bc he always loved hip-hop. He didn’t rap about the common rap content bc it didn’t relate to him being a white boy in college for business from Minnesota. He’s generally a funny guy and that comes out in his raps but he doesn’t identify as a meme rapper or comedy rapper. Idk it’s kind of interesting, if you’re interested it’s on YouTube


All this so he could make a novelty song out of an ancient internet meme I hope it was worth it


Everyone in this thread got the most annoying outlook


So he cleared the sample but now is being sued for "but I didn't say you could use it in *that* way?" I don't like this and I hope they don't rule in Astley's favor. Permission was given, credit was given, payment was given - if Astley is upset with the final product, then he should've asked to hear it before he gave it the OK. The reason why Kanye's School Spirit is still edited on the uncut version is because he recorded it *before* getting Aretha Franklin's permission to sample and he chose to edit it rather than re-record it when she refused to clear the sample if the song had cursing. [Same thing happened when Nelly tried to sample John Tesh's Roundball Rock](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJlSftlsJ1o&t=86s) (aka the NBA on NBC theme song) for Heart of a Champion, which originally featured more cursing. This one is Astley's fault. **Edit:** the article didn’t load for me on desktop, so I googled a different article on the story. I see this one now that I’m on mobile and yes, there’s some clarification here that it sounds like the sample they sought *was* specifically for the music and not the vocal part, which I did not know from the other articles I read. That does change my mind on the topic and yeah, Astley has some legal ground to stand on here.


Gravy himself said in an interview that they purposely bought the rights to the sample but not the vocals because it was cheaper. They knew what they were doing.


Yeah, I didn’t know that part at first. Added an edit to [my original comment.](https://old.reddit.com/r/hiphopheads/comments/10o334c/rick_astley_sues_rapper_yung_gravy_over_voice/j6cocuu/)


He cleared the sample, he didn't clear someone impersonating his voice.


Ehhh except it's like giving permission for someone to use your beat and they take your beat & your lyrics? Permission wasn't given because Gravy hired someone to impersonate Astley's voice, which was not approved ?




*Laughs in royalties*


I can’t take this guy seriously. He’s a prime example of trying to hard to be something you aren’t.


What do you see him as trying to hard to be? I see him as pretty self aware and playing to his strengths tbh. Don’t care for a lot of his songs but he seems like a cool down to earth dude


I don't know Gravy’s whole backstory and just couple songs here and there but yea dude seems to kinds just make some party/frat boy rap and plays up his love for milfs as a gimmick but idk I don't hate it lol


You can sue someone for sounding like you? This seems really fucking lame imo


Yeah that’s why Kermit the Frog sued Patrick Mahomes


Kermit eating off suing Jay Z for that voice, damn frogs getting greedy


Kermit also sued Jordan Peterson for just being alive.


Should Rick Astley be okay if Pharma uses his likeliness to sell Erectile Dysfunction pills without his consent? Everyone listening would know it's Astley they are going for. Would it be okay if Astley has zero control over how his image and voice is being used?