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Sampling in Music: Ras Kuuku weighs in on the Debate

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Ras Kuuku, a popular reggae-dancehall musician, has weighed in on the topic of music sampling after Ghanaian rapper Obrafuor sued Canadian rapper Drake for allegedly using his ‘Oye Ohene’ Remix on his track ‘Calling My Name’ without permission.

While some view sampling as a way to pay homage to musical influences, others see it as a form of intellectual property theft. Ras Kuuku, who falls in the former category, believes that sampling is a normal practice in the creative industry that has been ongoing for a long time.

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In an interview, he stated, “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?” However, he acknowledges that his children could seek compensation for his music estate in the future. He also expressed that he is fine with individuals who put music on pen drives and sell on the roadside, stating that allowing them to make money from his music is not an issue for him.

Although he recognizes that the music industry can be harsh, 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,” he said.

The news of Obrafuor’s lawsuit broke when a lawyer for brands, agencies, and creators, Robert Freund, shared court documents on social media stating that Obrafuor was seeking “at least $10 million in damages” against Drake for alleged copyright infringement.

Obrafuor claims that Drake previously sought permission to use the work but did not receive it and released the track anyway. Lawyers for Obrafuor have filed the case in the Southern District of New York and are asking for various reliefs, including a judgment that the “Defendant willfully infringed Obrafour’s Copyrighted Work in violation of the Copyright Act.”

Drake is the latest in a list of Hollywood artists who have faced similar lawsuits for unauthorized use of samples, including Kanye West, Robin Thicke, and Pharrell Williams.

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