Drake has been sued for copyright infringement by Ghanaian artist Obrafour, who is alleging that the Canadian rapper’s “Calling My Name” sampled his music without permission.
Elements of Obrafour’s 2003 single “Oye Ohene (Remix)” feature on Drake’s Honestly, Nevermind track. Fifty-three seconds into that track, a vocalist can be heard saying “Killer cut, blood, killer cut.”
In the lawsuit, filed Tuesday, April 18, with the U.S. District Court for the southern district of New York, Obrafour alleges that this line was taken from the remix of his 2003 track “Oye Ohene.”
The lawsuit seeks a minimum of $10 million in damages. It names a whole host of co-defendants, including Drake’s record company OVO, Republic Records, its owner, Universal Music Group (UMG), and a number of affiliated companies.
According to the lawsuit, obtained by Rolling Stone, Drake’s team had approached Obrafour before the release of Honestly, Nevermind for his approval but suddenly dropped the album within hours of announcing it, despite not receiving approval.
“Nonetheless, the Infringing Work is one of the songs appearing on the ‘Honestly, Nevermind’ album, as released to the world by ‘surprise’ on June 17, 2022,” the lawsuit states. “The copying of the Sampled Phrase in the Infringing Work is so direct in nature that the audio of the Sampled Phrase heard in the Infringing Work contains little or no audible manipulation, processing, or other alteration to its original character as heard in the Copyrighted Work.”
(Photo: Republic Records)
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