Frank Ocean Sues Om’Mas Keith Over Songwriting Credits
The lawsuit filed by Frank Ocean claims Om’mas Keith has misrepresented authorship on tracks including “Nikes,” “Ivy” and “Pink + White”.
Tuesday, Feb. 20, Frank Ocean filed a lawsuit against producer Om’Mas Keith and his Analog Genius Corporation alleging he has wrongfully claimed authorship for several songs on the musician’s chart-topping 2016 effort Blonde.
According to Ocean’s suit, the two parties had already entered into an oral agreement, in 2014 Keith refused to sign a draft agreement over his role in producing the album, including a provision that acknowledged he did not write any of the recorded compositions. He even allegedly refused to sign an acknowledgment that he had not written a recorded cover of The Isley Brothers’ “(At Your Best) You Are Love”.
The oral agreement was meant to replicate a deal that Ocean and Keith had signed in or around 2012 for production work from Ocean’s Channel Orange album, according to the lawsuit. In 2016, Ocean’s reps recommended discussions with a new agreement regarding six recordings that wound up included on Blonde with the acknowledgement that Keith did not act as a writer on those songs.
A deal that he allegedly refused.
From then on Ocean’s reps asked Keith’s team to provide detailed accounts of what he contributed to Blonde to make the compositions. Keith and his team did not respond, instead filing registrations with ASCAP for 11 songs in total, including tracks such as “Nikes,” “Ivy,” and “Pink + White,” which each charted on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.
Ocean states that he has lost the ability to control the song’s exploitation due to Keith’s allegedly misrepresentation as a writer on the songs. Unless the court intervenes, Ocean “will be irreparably and permanently injured by the loss of the ability to control the exploitation thereof.” Frank is seeking a judgment that Keith and other unnamed John Does do not own any portion of the songs’ copyright and are not entitled to any legal or equitable interest or credit, as well as a cease to any misrepresenting that they wrote on any of the songs and attempts to license the material. Ocean is also seeking legal fees and any further relief the court deems appropriate.
At time of publishing, Om’Mas Keith’s representatives could not be reached for comment.