Portishead vs. The Weeknd, Part 2.

On Monday, The Weeknd released the video to Kiss Land mini-epic ‘Belong To The World’. As suggested by a previous live performance, the song contained the same rat-a-tat drum tattoo as Portishead’s 2008 track ‘Machine Gun’.

Within minutes, Barrow had taken to Twitter to suggest that the band had previously declined a request to license the sample. In his words: “I think it’s a load of bollox. When someone asks to sample you and you refuse they should have the respect as a fellow artist to not use it.”

Addressing the issue on Twitter once again, Barrow has now suggested the The Weeknd’s camp are claiming the song doesn’t sample the track after all. His message reads:

“Seems The Weekend have said there is no sample used or enough likeness to ‘Machine Gun’ to warrant any infringement….or credit”

FACT understands that, following Portishead’s initial refusal on the basis that ‘Machine Gun’ is a particularly precious song to the band, The Weeknd’s team re-recorded their own version, although, considering the two motifs are practically identical, it’s difficult to argue there’s not “enough likeness” to claim infringement. It should be noted that both Portishead and The Weeknd are signed to Universal, suggesting there may have been some backstage horse-trading to keep certain parties happy.

Earlier this week, The Weeknd gave his first ever full interview, touching on Kiss Land and his rumoured fallout with Drake. In that piece, he claimed that he “wrote a letter to the producers of Portishead and let them know this inspired by them.”



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