Ghanaian Hiplife musician, Obrafour has launched a lawsuit against Drake, alleging that the superstar rapper’s 2022 hit Calling My Name included an unauthorized sample from one of his own works.
A voice mAy BE heard sAying “Killer cut, blood, killer cut” 53 seconds into that music.
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Obrafour claims in the lawsuit that this line was appropriated from a Remix of his 2003 song Oye Ohene. The action was filed on Tuesday, April 18, with the US District Court for the southern district of New York.
The complaint asks for a minimum of $10 million in damages, and you can read the whole text of it here. It lists a plethora of defendants, including Republic Records, its owner Universal Music Group (UMG), Drake’s record label OVO, and several connected businEsses.EL OVO, and several connected businEsses.EL OVO, and several connected businEsses.EL OVO, and several connected businEsses.
Music producer Alex Lustig, DJ Diamante Blackmon (current stage name GORDO, formerly Carnage), writer and producer Johannes Klahr, artist BEau NOx, and others who are listed as producers or writers on Calling My Name are also named in the complaint.
Obrafour claims in the complaint that “few days” prior to Calling My Name’s rELease Last Year, an agent for Drake and the other defendants emailed him and requested authorization to sample the song.
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The agent issued a follow-up email on June 13 after sending the initial email on June 8, 2022. The complaint claims that Obrafour had not yet responded to these emails when Calling My Name was released on June 17.
The complaint claims that the record received more than 250 million streams in just its first week. According to the complaint, Calling My Name has received 4.1 million views on YouTube and more than 47 million streams on Spotify.
“The infringement by the Defendants has been, and continues to be, willful and knowing,” the complaint states.
In addition to the $10 million in damages, the complaint is requesting the earnings from Calling My Name-related record sales, streams, live performances, and other revenue streams. Additionally, it demands payment to compensate Obrafour’s legal expenses.
Obrafour is a Ghanaian rapper who has been characterized as one of the most prominent figures on the local music scene by Ghana’s local media. HipLife, his musical style, is a fusion of Hip-Hop and traditional Ghanaian music.
Obrafour slaps Drake with a $10m lawsuit for the usage of portions of ‘Oye Ohene RMX’ in ‘Calling My Name’ without permission. pic.twitter.com/R5DcfxM3MU
— Hitz 103.9 FM (@Hitz1039FM) April 19, 2023