As the legal battle between Ghanaian musician Obrafour, and Canadian rapper Drake, over the sampling of the remix of “Oye Ohene” enters its eighth month, Hammer, the song’s producer, has addressed key concerns regarding the ongoing lawsuit.
In an interview on JOY FM‘s Showbiz A-Z with Kwame Dadzie, Hammer provided insights into the lawsuit. He particularly addressed the concerns raised by Mantse Aryeequaye, whose voice was used by Drake in the sampled remix.
Nii Mantse Aryeequaye argued that he should have been included in the lawsuit, since it was his voice that was sampled. Hammer, however, clarified that everyone involved in the song’s production, including Mantse Aryeequaye, stands to benefit if the court ruling favors Obrafour.
“It is everybody on the song against Drake. Obrafour is only leading the conversation. So I don't know what the hullabaloo was about,” Hammer clarified during the interview.
Responding to questions about the inclusion of all contributors in the lawsuit, Hammer explained that everyone involved in the song, including Tina, Tinny, Mantse, himself, and Obrafour, were captured in the suit. Obrafour was leading the case as the owner of the song and copyright.
“We are mentioned in the docket. The publishing of the song has Tina, Tinny, Mantse, me, and Obrafour. Obrafour is the one leading because it's his song. He owns the copyright. He spoke to everybody. I connected the conference call. We were all on the call. We all agreed, and Obrafour went on with the suit,” Hammer confirmed.
The controversy emerged when Mantse Aryeequaye claimed ownership of the phrase ‘Killer cut, blood’ from the 2003 remix of Obrafour’s ‘Oye Ohene’, which Drake used in ‘Calling My Name’.
In a series of tweets, Mantse asserted his intellectual property rights, and criticised the lawsuit being pursued solely in Obrafour’s name. Despite the ongoing legal dispute, Obrafour is seeking approximately $10 million for damages, among other claims.
The legal proceedings continue to unfold as the music industry watches closely.