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Obrafour sue Drake for $10m after rapper sampled ‘oye ohene’ without his consent

Obrafour, a legendary rapper from Ghana, is suing Drake, a prominent rapper from Canada, because Drake sampled Obrafour’s remix of “Oye Ohene” from 2003 on the song “Calling My Name,” which is on Drake’s album Honestly Nevermind.

In the records that were submitted to a court in New York, Obrafour said that Drake violated his copyright by sampling his music without obtaining permission. These materials were handed to the court.

“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,” the defendants went ahead and published the infringing work on June 17, 2022, according to the lawsuit. “Defendants released the infringing work.”

According to some of the text contained in the affidavit, “Obrafour never granted Defendants permission to use the copyrighted work, and the infringing work was released mere days later.”

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The Ghanaian rapper stated that Drake and the other defendants following the release of “Calling My Name” had tremendously benefited from his work, and he attributed this to the fact that his work was sampled in the song.

“To this day, over the mere 304 days that have elapsed since the infringing work was released, the infringing work has already been streamed more than 4.1 million times on YouTube, more than 47,442,160 times on Spotify, and tens of millions of times on Apple Music,” according to the complaint.

“The infringing work has not only been exploited by the defendants via other means, including live performance, but it has also generated enormous sums of global streams and sales across numerous platforms.”

Obrafour is seeking compensation for his losses, which she estimates to be in excess of ten million dollars.

He is also seeking an injunction that would require the “defendants and their agents, employees, officers, attorneys, successors, licensees, partners, and assigns, as well as all persons acting in concert or participation with each or any one of them, to 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.”

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In the meantime, additional parties named as defendants in the complaint include authors, producers, performers, record labels, entertainment firms, publishers, managers, administrators, and/or distributors of the work alleged to have been infringed.

Drake, a Canadian rapper, released his album ‘Honestly, Nevermind’ in June 2022, which came as a surprise to his fans. However, for Ghanaians, it was an even bigger surprise.

Drake used a sample from a well-known and popular song that was originally performed by Obrafour, who is widely regarded as one of Ghana’s most accomplished musicians currently active.

The sample can be located in the song by Drake at the 0 minute and 53 second mark. At that point, the song shifts into a house music vibe, which ushers the song into a different kind of atmosphere compared to its initial path.

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The chant that is heard over and over again is “Killa cut!”

This section was sung by Mantse Aryeequaye as the beginning to the remix of ‘Oye Ohene’ off the Ntete Pa album in late 2003.

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