Frank Ocean's "Super Rich Kids" Sample Saga

frank ocean

The sampling lawsuit involving Frank Ocean’s Super Rich Kids is a little more entangled than you might think.

Oh joy, another sample lawsuit. This one involves singer Frank Ocean and his track Super Rich Kids, his label UMG and TuffAmerica, a label from New York. Based on that premise, it’s appears to be a simple “you sampled without permission, we want money” exercise. Except it isn’t. TuffAmerica own the rights to The Honeydrippers’ “Impeach the President”, a classic sample we all know and love. That was sampled on Audio Two’s “Top Billin'” and then sampled on Mary J. Blige’s “Real Love” that was used on… Frank Ocean’s “Super Rich Kids”.

Because of this trail of breadcrumbs, TuffAmerica claim this is enough to sue as they actually own 3.15% of the Blige song but there could be a small silver lining for Mr Ocean. Billboard say that each owner of a song can allow licensing for a song without the other’s permission but the money must be shared so if that’s the case, TuffAmerica might have to settle for a royalty share. Get all that? We did just barely. I think it’s safe to say, if you can afford it, clear those samples.

Hi, it's Luke, the editor of Sampleface! Why not subscribe to my Patreon and support the blog?

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