Ghanaian rapper sues Drake for $10m over copyright infringement

Abu Mubarik April 20, 2023
Left Photo via Obrafour on Facebook. Right photo via The Come Up Show

Ghanaian rapper, Obrafuor, has sued Canadian rapper, Drake, for sampling vocal excerpts of his 2003 song titled ‘Oye Ohene’ without permission. The artist sued Drake in New York after Drake sampled the line “Killer cut, blood, killer cut” from his “Oye Ohene” song without his permission.

“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 his permission for the use of the Copyrighted Work in the Infringing Work.” Obrafuor, whose birth name is Michael Elliot Kwabena Okyere Darko, claimed in his suit. 

“Obrafour never granted Defendants permission to use the Copyrighted Work and the Infringing work was released mere days later.” 

According to the court document sighted by Face2face Africa, Obrafuor noted that Drake and other defendants greatly benefited from his work following the release of ‘Calling My Name.’ The other defendants in the suit are writers, producers, performers, record labels, entertainment companies, publishers, managers, administrators, and/or distributors of the infringing work.

Obrafouor stated that “To date, over the mere 304 days that have elapsed since the Infringing Work was released, it has already been streamed over 4.1 million times on YouTube, streamed over 47,442,160 times on Spotify, and streamed tens of millions of times on Apple Music.”

“In addition to generating enormous sums of global streams and sales across numerous platforms, the Infringing Work has also been exploited by the Defendants via other means, including live performance,” he added.

In this regard, Obrafour is seeking $10 million in damages from the alleged copyright violation.

What is more, he also sought an injunction requiring the “defendants and their agents, employees, officers, attorneys, successors, licensees, partners, and 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.”

Obrafuor is generally held in high esteem in the Ghanaian music industry, and is regarded as one of the pioneers of rap music in the West African nation. 

His breakthrough album was ‘Pae Mu Ka,’ which won him the ‘Artist of the Year award’ after it was released in 2000.

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: April 20, 2023


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