A lawsuit filed in Louisiana claims that the star used the lyrics and voice of Messy Mya, a New Orleans hip hop artist, without giving him credit, the New York Daily News reports. Mya, whose real name was Anthony Barré, was killed in a shooting at age 22. His estate has filed the suit and is seeking over $20 million in damages.
Barré’s estate claims that the artist’s work is “the seed from which” Beyoncé’s song grows. The estate also claims that Beyoncé did not respond when they tried to contact her about the alleged infringement.
The connection between the two artists has been drawn before, according to the Daily News, just shortly after “Formation” was released. Both media outlets and Mya’s fans pointed out similarities, though for fans the sampling “cemented his legacy,” Fusion reported at the time. One fan suggested that Beyonce helped to make the rapper “immortal.”