Drake is being sued for $10 million for allegedly not clearing a sample on his 2022 album Honestly, Nevermind.
Drake is facing a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by Ghanaian artist Obrafour who claims that the superstar rapper’s song ‘Calling My Name’ used a sample from his music without permission. The song reportedly features elements from Obrafour’s track ‘Oye Ohene (Remix)’.
According to the lawsuit, obtained by Rolling Stone, a member of Drake’s team sent a “Clearance Email” to approve the sample to Obrafour in the week before the release of Honestly, Nevermind, but Obrafour did not respond. A follow up email was sent which was also left unattended by the Ghanaian artist.
“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.”
While Obrafour never cleared the sample, “To date, over the mere 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, streamed over 47,442,160 times on Spotify, and streamed tens of millions of times on Apple Music,” the lawsuit continues.
The lawsuit is seeking at least $10 million in compensation for the infringement, citing “all profits and damages in the following categories attributable to the infringement” including album sales, downloads, digital revenue, sponsorships, and concerts that Drake performed following the release of “Calling My Name.”
The part of Obrafour’s song that Drake sampled is a soundbite that says “killer cut” which Mantse has come out to say that it is his voice. But the Chief Executive Officer of Chale Wote Street Arts Festival, Mantse Nii Aryeequaye claims Obrafour can’t sue Drake because his IP is also featured on the song that Obrafour never paid for.