December 24, 2013


Kanye West Sued by Former Orphan-Turned-Singer for "Bound 2" Sample

Alo Ceballos/FilmMagic
Alo Ceballos/FilmMagic

"Bound 2" already has an official video featuring a topless Kim Kardashian, a hilarious Seth Rogen/James Franco parody and a Saturday Night Live spoof, so what else could it possibly need?

Well, according to the former child singer sampled in "Bound 2," it needs the proper publishing clearance. Ricky Spicer—who fronted the Jackson 5-esque quintet Ponderosa Twins Plus One in the early '70s—filed suit in Manhattan, alleging he never gave Yeezy permission to use his voice. The Cleveland Challenger previously reported that Chuck Brown, the man who owns the publishing rights to the 1971 soul song "Bound," wasn't properly credited in the Yeezus liner notes.

Now Spicer, the 56-year-old man whose 12-year-old voice is heard on the vintage soul track, is aiming to get his in court.

From all reports, life hasn't been easy for Ricky Spicer. He spent his childhood in an Ohio orphanage until his Frankie Lymon-esque voice was discovered by an industry talent scout. He was paired with two separate sets of twins to form the Cleveland soul quintet, Ponderosa Twins Plus One. They scored a few minor hits in the early '70s—including "Bound"—but broke up after several years of touring without seeing much money.

Kanye aside, Spicer already has good reason to be disillusioned with the music business. When the Ponderosa Twins Plus One were in their prime , vinyl 45s of "Bound" were allegedly sold in secret from those who owned the publishing rights to the song, which meant the people who should have been profiting from "Bound" were shut out. Later in life, Spicer turned to construction work to make a living.

Spicer had no idea his voice was on one of 2013's biggest tracks until recently, when he heard his tweenage voice on the radio. More on this as it develops.