One year after the release of Beyonce‘s hit “Formation”, and Queen Bey is being hit with a massive $20 million lawsuit by the sister of the slain New Orleans rapper she sampled at the beginning of the song.
The estate of Anthony Barre, better known as Messy Mya, is suing Beyoncé for $20 million, for her use of Mya’s “Booking the Hoes From New Wildings” and “A 27 Piece Huh.” in the hit song that spawned the “Lemonade” takeover.
The suit claims that Beyoncé sampled Mya’s voice and lyrics in some of the most memorable parts of “Formation” when it says, “What happened at the New Orleans” and “B***h, I’m back by popular demand”.
The estate states it has “received nothing…no acknowledgment, no credit no remuneration of any kind” and states that they tried numerous times to reach out to Beyoncé to no avail.
Barre’s sister is representing his estate and is suing Queen Bey, Sony Music and Jay Z for royalties they feel they are owed. Mya’s sister is also requesting song credits “as a writer, composer, producer and performer” for her brother. The New Orleans artist Messy Mya was known for his music and YouTube following before he was tragically murdered in 2010.
Messy Mya was known for his music and YouTube following before he was tragically murdered in 2010 outside of his babyshower.
According to Forbes, when listening to both the “Bookings” and “Formation” videos, it is fairly obvious that Mya’s voice kicks off “Formation,” and it will be hard for Beyoncé and her counsel to refute it. Beyoncé could be in big trouble if a judge determines that Mya’s lyrics and voice were used without permission. If so, Bey’s counsel might try to reach a settlement that includes remuneration and proper credit. Beyoncé might have thought that this was an homage to Mya, but the estate thinks otherwise.
As the lawsuit states, Beyoncé used the “voice, performance and words from his copyrighted works to create the tone, mood, setting and location of the New Orleans-themed ‘Formation’ video and audio recordings,”