The song Formation from Beyoncé’s latest album, Lemonade has been on top of the charts for weeks now. The track covers political and social topics such as the handling of the Hurricane Katrina situation by police, Black Lives Matter, Negro roots and Bey’s connection with the South. The song is being hailed as one of the most artistic releases in 2016, and the star has also been nominated for several Grammys for being such a lyrical genius.
Formation begins with the words by late rapper, Messy Mya, a local in New Orleans who was known for his YouTube channel where he dissed what was going on in his own community, particularly with Blacks. His videos garnered hundreds of thousands of views, and has become even more popular after Beyoncé used his sampling for the track. But, it seems that she did not take permission to do so in the first place. She is now being sued for $20 million by Messy Mya’s camp for the unauthorized sampling.
Check out the video by Messy Mya where he clearly speaks two lines from Formation, done way back in 2010. “What happened after New Orleans?” and “B*tch I’m back, by popular demand.”
And here is Beyoncé’s video for Formation.
The legal papers filed against Beyoncé is for using the sampling without permission, and Messy Mya’s camp is seeking the $20 million as payback for royalties and other damages.
Messy Mya was a young well-known rapper in New Orleans. At 22 years old, he was shot dead after leaving the baby shower of his then unborn child. His view on local politics was funny, but also poignant. In fact, in a video he had even predicted his own death, saying that boys like him won’t be around for long, and that he was soon going to join his friend who was killed a few days before.
All Beyoncé may have wanted to do was pay homage to the slain rapper, but now finds herself in a legal fix that would be difficult to get out of, unless she can prove that permission was sought beforehand.