Frank Ocean sues 'Blonde' producer over songwriting credits claim

Ocean alleges that producer Om'Mas Keith tried to register with ASCAP as co-writer on 11 tracks from the album, even though he did not “contribute any lyrics, melodies, or music that would give rise to any claim of authorship.”


                            Frank Ocean sues 'Blonde' producer over songwriting credits claim

Frank Ocean has reportedly sued producer Om’Mas Keith, who worked on his latest album, 2016’s ‘Blonde’, reports NME. Ocean released ‘Blonde’, alongside the visual album ‘Endless’, in August 2016. They were the R&B sensation's first releases since his debut LP, ‘Channel Orange’ in 2012.

Om’Mas Keith, who worked with Ocean to produce the album ‘Channel Orange’ as well as ‘Blonde’, is said to be claiming songwriting credits on the latter record, but ocean seems to disagree, which has now led to a full-blown lawsuit.

Multiple Grammy winner Frank Ocean is suing producer Om’Mas Keith over the songwriting credits for 11 songs from his 2016 album, 'Blonde'. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

The suit claims that Ocean's lawyers tried several times between 2014 and 2016 to get Keith to sign a written agreement stating that he did not write any of the songs on Blonde. However, the producer allegedly refused and in 2016 tried to register as a co-writer on 11 Blonde tracks with the publishing giant ASCAP, which manages royalties for songwriters. Keith supposedly even refused to acknowledge that he had not served as a writer on "(At Your Best) You Are Love," an Isley Brothers tune that Frank Ocean covered in 2015, which went on to appear on Ocean's visual album, 'Endless’.

According to the lawsuit, Om’Mas Keith (pictured) refused to sign a written agreement stating that he did not write any of the songs on Blonde. He also allegedly went on to register as a co-writer on 11 tracks from 'Blonde' with the ASCAP. (Image Source: YouTube)

The songs that are in question are “Be Yourself,” “Futura Free,” “Godspeed,” “Ivy,” “Nights,” “Nikes,” “Pink + White,” “Pretty Sweet,” “Skyline To,” “Solo,” and “White Ferrari”.

The suit also names Keith's Analog Genius Corporation and several unnamed John Does as defendants, arguing none of them "own any portion of the copyright rights" to Ocean's music. Ocean also specifically states that Keith did not “contribute any lyrics, melodies, or music that would give rise to any claim of authorship.”

According to the NME report, Ocean is now seeking a judge ruling to prevent Keith from claiming songwriting credits. The singer is also reportedly seeking legal fees and additional relief the court deems necessary.

A representative for Frank Ocean has told Pitchfork: “A complaint has been filed against Om’Mas Keith who has falsely stated to have written certain songs which appear on the album ‘Blonde’. These claims are untrue and this issue is being dealt with by litigators.” Meanwhile, Om’Mas Keith has not yet released a comment publicly. 

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