Law & Policy, Legal Drama

Burna Boy and Producer Gospel Ondebeat in Copyright Dispute #ProducerAgreements


AML artists, when you read the story below, be sure to come back and review my article on Producer Agreements.


In June of 2013, a song was released on the internet with the tag; ‘BURNA BOY – CELEBRATE [produced by GOSPEL ONDEBEAT]‘…fans of Burna boy were excited. When Burna Boy’s LIFE album came out, the song was conspicuously missing. Unknowingly, the song actually belonged to producer; Gospel.

On the 11th of September, the video to the song ‘Celebrate’ was released online and the tag ‘GOSPEL ON DEBEAT ft BURNA BOY’….few hours later the video had been taken down from youtube due to unknown reason.

HipHopWorld Online put a call to Gospel who immediately turned off his phone after hearing the ‘What happened with you and Burna Boy video’ question put to him. More calls to him proved futile as his phone had been switched off. Our correspondent later got an anonymous call from a member of Gospel’s team who narrated and explained the situation and why the video had been taken down.

“The video was taken down by Burna Boy’s management…” he said…“…They said Gospel breached a contract..”

According to him, Gospel is currently compiling materials for his producer album and a while back had met with Burna Boy while the latter was in Abuja and the song was recorded. It was from the release of the audio that it seemed like something was up as the tag had been changed to be in Burna Boy’s name….regardless, both parties were on good terms.

A few months later when Burna Boy and his manager were in Abuja, Gospel approached them that he wanted to shoot a video to the song to be shot by Patrick Elis. But on the day of the shoot, Burna Boy’s lawyer called Gospel telling him to refrain from shooting the video for reason undisclosed….having his own team call back and forth, they reached agreement which was signed. Unknown to Gospel there is a clause that has him handover the song to Burna boy but claim rights to the productions and proceeds, upon release of the video with the ‘GOSPEL ft BURNA BOY’ tag…the clause was immediately activated.

He also went on to state that all was settled now. ”…But they have settled it now, it’s no big deal…It’s just a lesson to the team.” On royalties, he also added, ”They have agreed that the proceeds from ringback tones/online sales will go to both parties plus other things I can’t tell you right now…the new video will be out in a bit .  . .”

Hiphopworldmagazine has the full story.

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Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at

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