Canadian rapper Drake is being sued by Ghanaian artist, Obrafour for an unauthorized sample of his song “Calling My Name.”
Obrafour, whose real name is Michael Eliot Kwabena Okyere Darko, has reportedly filed a lawsuit for $10 million in damages and names Drake, his label OVO Sound, Republic Records, and the Universal Music Group as defendants.
The Afrobeat artist’s lawsuit concerns his song “Oye Ohene (Remix)” without getting proper authorization. According to Music Business Worldwide, court records say there were efforts made by Drake’s legal team to seek clearance for the single on June 8.
However, there was another effort on June 13, 2022, asking for confirmation from the artist’s team that they received the request to sample. “Hi confirming you received this email thanks [sic]’” the email to Obrafour’s team read.
Later in June, Drake released “Calling My Name” on his seventh studio album Honestly Nevermind without getting any response to his request for permission. Drake’s team has not publicly reacted to the lawsuit, but the artist’s court documents do not show the artist denying sampling the song but rather that the permissions were not properly given.
In the meantime, this is the second lawsuit Drake is facing for his seventh album. Last year, another Afrobeat artist unsuccessfully sued the artist for copyright infringement claiming that Drake’s “Way 2 Sexy” with Future stole the elements of his song “Reach for Skies”.
The court later threw out the lawsuit brought by artist, Micheldeangelou Perfvwaybelayou, finding that there were no similarities between them.
“The court finds that while Plaintiff does allege ownership of a valid copyright, he does not allege facts to show Defendants’ access to Plaintiff’s song nor substantial similarity,” a judge’s ruling said.
Drake has been one of the biggest artists on the planet over the past decade as he continues to dominate the streaming era in music. The Canadian rapper became the first artist in history to surpass 75 billion streams on Spotify and is well on his way to amassing 100 billion streams. As a result, he amassed a fortune with Nicki Minaj labeling him a billionaire.
His wealth and status in music make him a prime target for lawsuits like these. Not only is he being racked by lawsuits, but Drake is also dealing with AI generated music using his voice and fooling fans into thinking he is releasing new music.