Drake sued for $10million by Obrafour over ‘Honestly, Nevermind’ sample
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Drake sued for $10million by Obrafour over 'Honestly, Nevermind' sample

Canadian artist Drake has recently been sued for $10million by the Ghanaian rapper Obrafour following Drake’s use of an uncleared sample on the song ‘Calling My Name’ from his latest album, Honestly, Nevermind. The West African artist (real name Michael Darko) took legal action against Drake in the District Court of Southern New York after hearing a sample of his track on Drake’s project. According to Obrafour, the song uses his renowned ‘Oye Ohene (Remix).’ However, Darko is insistent neither Drake nor his team contacted him before the single’s release.

The legal action against Drake is an accusation of copyright infringement. Many Drizzy fans know he has recently incorporated African genres, such as Amapiano and Afrobeat, into his work. However, in this instance, it seems he has chosen not to credit the artist from whom he borrowed music. According to the lawsuit, which many publications have obtained, Drake’s team did attempt to liaise with Obrafour’s management and sent not one but two “Clearance Emails” requesting approval from Obrafour to utilise the sample. However, by the time they had reached the project’s deadline, Darko “had not yet responded.”

The lawsuit assembled by Obrafour’s lawyers states that the producer of ‘Calling My Name’ did not even attempt to manipulate the sample but instead used the song in such an obvious manner it warrants compensation. The lawsuit segment addressing this read, “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 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.”

One may wonder why Drake released the track if Obrafour had yet to clear the sample. However, he had an obligation to his label to produce a certain number of songs for his album. Concerning the compensation, the lawsuit read, “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.”

Darko is looking for the sum of $10 million 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.’ You can hear the original track and Drake’s version in the videos below to see if the legal action is justified. Drake is yet to comment.