March 21, 2018 / 8:36 PM

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Frank Ocean Takes Producer Om’Mas Keith To Court Over ‘Blonde’ Songwriting Credits


Watch Frank Ocean serenade Brad Pitt on stage
Frank Ocean at the Brit Awards 2013. The singer-songwriter sued his "Blonde" music producer for trying to falsely register co-writing credits to 11 tracks from his second studio album.   ( Eamonn McCormack | Getty Images )

Frank Ocean is suing Om'Mas Keith and his Analog Genius Corporation over the songwriting credits on his 2016 album Blonde.

The copyright lawsuit filed on Tuesday, Feb. 20, states that Keith submitted false registrations to ASCAP. Ocean claims that the music producer was not involved in writing any of the songs from the R&B singer's second album.

Blonde, released in August 2016, peaked at number 1 of the Billboard 200.

Keith also worked with Ocean in the latter's debut album Channel Orange.

Copyright Battle

Ocean's lawyers claim that Keith made an oral agreement in which he would get a flat rate for serving as the producer of the album. The singer and the music producer also agreed that Keith will not get co-writer credit for any of the songs included in Blonde.

The lawsuit also claims that Ocean's lawyers have been trying to get Keith sign a written agreement since 2014, but the music producer refused. He, instead, tried to register co-writer credits to 11 of the album's tracks with ASCAP in 2016.

The lawsuit claims that the "Pink + White" singer has never written any composition with Keith. It also named several other John Does.

"Moreover, all of the Compositions and the ASCAP Compositions were written well before Defendants, or any of them, rendered any services whatsoever in connection with any of the masters," it reads. "Defendants did not contribute any lyrics, melodies, or music that would give rise to any claim of authorship."

According to Rolling Stone, among the 11 tracks that Keith claim he has co-written includes "Be Yourself."

Unless the court intervenes, the lawsuit claims that the 30-year-old singer will be "irreparably and permanently injured by the loss of the ability to control the exploitation thereof."

Ocean's camp is seeking a declaration that Keith and several others did not co-write any song from Blonde as well as an injunction that bars the music producer from registering or licensing any of the tracks from the album. Ocean also requires legal fees and other additional relief after the legal battle.

Frank Ocean's 'Moon River'

Ocean's music has been gaining new traction this month after he released his cover of "Moon River," a classic song originally performed by Audrey Hepburn in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's. Many other singers have covered the song over the years including Andy Williams and Frank Sinatra. However, Ocean's version has been a massive hit.

According to Nielsen Music via Billboard, the song performed by Ocean was streamed 800,000 times a day after it was launched. It also helped all versions of the songs, including the original soundtrack written by Henry Mancini, to rise 57 percent on Feb. 15. The song tallied 49,000 streams on the day Ocean released his version.

In comparison, by Valentine's Day (a day before Ocean covered "Moon River"), all versions of the song were streamed 31,000 times.


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