Legendary Ghanaian rapper Obrafour is suing popular Canadian rapper Drake for sampling his 2003 remix of ‘Oye Ohene’ on his song ‘Calling My Name’ off the Honestly Nevermind album.
Obrafour claimed in the paperwork he submitted to a New York court that Drake’s unauthorized sampling of his music violated his copyright.
“Defendants released the Infringing Work on June 17, 2022, despite the fact that an agent of one or more Defendants had previously contacted Obrafour seeking to obtain Obrafour’s permission for the use of the Copyrighted Work in the Infringing Work.”
Parts of the filing said that “Obrafour never granted Defendants permission to use the Copyrighted Work and the Infringing work was released mere days later.”
The Ghanaian rapper indicated that Drake and other defendants following the release of ‘Calling My Name’ has greatly benefited from his work.
“To date, over the merely 304 days that have elapsed since the Infringing Work was released, the Infringing Work has already been streamed over 4.1 million times on YouTube, over 47,442,160 times on Spotify, and streamed tens of millions of times on Apple Music.”
“The Infringing Work has been exploited by the Defendants via other means, including live performance, in addition to generating enormous sums of global streams and sales across a variety of platforms.”
Obrafour is asking for damages of at least $10,000,000, among other things.
Additionally, he is requesting an order that the “defendants and their agents, employees, officers, attorneys, successors, licensees, partners, and assigns, and all persons acting in concert or participation with each or any one of them, cease directly and indirectly infringing, and causing, enabling, facilitating, encouraging, promoting, inducing, and/or participating in the infringement of any of Obrafour’s rights protected by the Copyright Act.”
In the meantime, record labels, entertainment businesses, publishers, managers, administrators, and/or distributors of the infringing work are among the other defendants in the lawsuit.
Drake, a Canadian rapper, shocked his fans in June 2022 with the release of “Honestly, Nevermind,” but for Ghanaians, it was a double shock.
One of Ghana’s top living musicians, Obrafour, wrote a well-known popular song that Drake sampled on track six, “Calling My Name.”
The sample appears at 0:53 seconds into the Drake song, where it changes the song’s atmosphere from its original course and enters a house music mood.
The chant is heard repeatedly: “Killa cut!”
‘Oye Ohene’ from the Ntete Pa album was remixed in late 2003, and Mantse Aryeequaye sang the opening verse.
To read the entire court filing, click here.