The issue of Music sampling has become a topical debate on social media after Ghanaian rapper, Obrafuor sued Canadian rapper, Drake for sampling his ‘Oye Ohene’ Remix on his track ‘Calling My Name’ without permission.
While Some artists see it as a form of creative expression and a way to pay homage to their musical influences, others view it as outright theft of intellectual property.
One such artiste who is of the initial school of thought is popular reggae-dancehall musician, Kojo Kurankye better known as Ras Kuuku.
According to Raskuuku, there is no musician who hasn’t sampled somebody’s music at one point or another.
He argues that sampling is a normal practice in the creative industry which has been going on for a long time.
“There’s no musician who hasn’t sampled somebody’s music, do you know the songs we’ve sampled and our songs that have been sampled by others?” he pointed out.
Raskuuku personally does not have an issue with sampling per se but believes his children in the future could seek compensation for his music estate.
“There are things I’m okay but maybe my children will come and ask for that stuff,” he preempted
Raskuuku acknowledged that some of his songs have been sampled by other artists, and he has also sampled the music of others.
“You see those people by the roadside who just put music on pen drive. I’ve always said we should leave them to enjoy because the thing is not coming from you who is going to take money from them. You’ve also given them work since the government can’t give them jobs, allow them to chop,” he reiterated
However, Raskuuku is also aware that the music industry can be a harsh and unforgiving place, and he is focused on making money for himself and his family.
“I’m working to make my money, these copyright stuff don’t matter to me,” the award-winning musician said.
Earlier on Wednesday, April 19, Robert Freund, a lawyer for brands, agencies, and creators shared in court documents on social media a lawsuit by Ghanaian rapper, Obrafour who was seeking “at least $10 million in damages” against Drake for alleged copyright infringements.
“Obrafour says Drake’ previously sought permission to use the work, didn’t get it, and released the track days later anyway.”
Lawyers of Obrafuor who filed the case in the Southern District of New York are asking the court to enter into judgment that the “Defendant willfully infringed Obrafour’s Copyrighted Work in violation of the Copyright Act” among other reliefs
Drake joins a list of Hollywood artists who have faced similar lawsuits for unauthorized use of samples, including Kanye West, Robin Thicke, and Pharrell Williams.