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Obrafour vs Drake, Mantse vs Obrafour a music industry learning curve – Baba Sadiq



Baba Sadiq was on New Day on Accra-based TV3, Friday, April 21, 2023, speaking on the controversy which has caught the attention of local and international music stakeholders.

The tussle, Baba Sadiq said, “obviously throws a spotlight on some of the structural problems we’ve had as an industry.”

Such issues, he went on, in “the more mature markets” have been handled by “the well structured units of the industry.”

Baba Sadiq entreated artistes to learn from the goings-on instead of approaching industry issues “from the passion and energy” standpoint.

Such ignorance, he said, is often corrected “when they get sucked up into the well structured units of the industry” which “whip them into line.”

When an artiste, “for instance Papi [of 5Five] sitting down here,” Sadiq cited in explanation, “is signed by a particular [record] label, by the time he’ll go through the label’s system,” he, “practically and from an experiential perspective,” would “learn a thing or two” and understand how music business is operated with executives on the A&R, marketing, finance and legal teams.

He underscored that the legal executive on the record label makes sure that before a release is done, “every clearance [of samples et all] is made.”

Obrafour is demanding a compensation of at least US$10 million from Drake and co, crying foul that a material from his 2003 ‘Oye Ohene Remix’ featuring Tinny has been sampled for Drake’s 2022 ‘Calling My Name’ without his permission.

Peruse the writ here:

In a twist of events, however, Hiplife hypeman and businessman Mantse Aryeequaye who in fact voiced the portion of the ‘Oye Ohene Remix’ song cited in the suit, has argued that it is he who has suffered a copyright infringement and not Obrafour.

Mantse says he did the voice which captures the words: “Killer cut, blood” for ‘Oye Ohene Remix’ producer Da’Hammer. He added that said producer used the cited sample for other songs also.

Furthermore, Mantse indicated that Obrafour never paid for his service and more importantly, directed Drake, via a series of tweets, Wednesday, April 19, to consult his lawyer Kofi Bentil, instead of engaging Obrafour and co.

In Baba Sadiq’s regard, “going forward, we need a lot more well structered units of industry. That’s one of the ways that we can be able to [remedy] some of these things.”

“This is a major learning [curve],” the parliamentary aspirant for the Okaikoi Central constituency on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) stressed.

“I think that because the thought leadership in [our] industry is zero [or] less, when these [issues] come, it affords us the opportunity to inform industry and create the narratives that will enable industry,” Baba Sadiq said again, his point being that contrary to some opinions, this issue should be richly discussed publicly, “because it provides some major lessons for industry.”

He decried media houses who have or will platform loud and uninformed pundits to discuss the issue, saying that is not healthy to be chasing “the most sensational headlines” and sending their audience into emotional fits instead of “delving into, sometimes, the academic part, the legal part – looking into case studies and everything and informing people.”

“To the talent, to the business manager of the talent, to the manager and everybody, we need to understand that the responsibility to create that well structured unit of industry starts with us,” he stated. “Before everybody else.”

Earlier, Baba Sadiq argued in support of Mantse’s claim that he is the rightful plaintiff in the copyright infringement case regarding the sample “Killer cut, blood.”

To buttress, he cited Sisqo getting into legal hot waters using lyrics “livin’ la vida loca” in his mammoth hit Thong Song without due diligence and clearance from the original writer and composer Desmond Child.

Though, the legal matter was eventually settled out of court, it was not Ricky Martin, the singer of the original song with the said lyrics, who got compensated. It was Desmond Child who, according to Thong Song producer Bob Robinson, who had earlier warned Sisqo, “has more ownership of the song than anyone.”



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