Singer-songwriter Frank Ocean has the worst luck when it comes to the songs he chooses to sample. After being threatened with a copyright infringement lawsuit by legendary rock band The Eagles over his illegal use of their song “Hotel California” for his track “American Wedding,” Ocean is getting slapped with another lawsuit for the same thing.
Frank Ocean is being sued by a company named TufAmerica because of Ocean’s sampling of Mary J. Blige‘s 1992 hit single “Real Love.” Ocean has a song called “Super Rich Kids” on his Grammy-winning album “Channel Orange” that contains a small sample of Blige’s hit song. Here’s where things get tricky. Blige’s song contains a sample of a 1973 song called “Impeach the President” by The HoneyDrippers. “Real Love” contains 3.15 percent of “Impeach the President” which gives TufAmerica, the owners of “Impeach the President,” a small percentage of ownership over Mary J. Blige’s song. TufAmerica is suing to get some money from Frank’s use of “Real Love.”
While that lawsuit sounds like TufAmerica is just grasping at straws, they actually have a right to sue. According to legal documents, Tuf America is saying they have the right to sue Ocean because he is sampling a song that they have partial ownership of due to Blige’s sampling of The HoneyDrippers song.
Neither side has made a public comment about the lawsuit, but you can read the full court documents here.