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Nigerian Music Going Global: Drake & Skepta Remix Wizkid’s Hit Song ‘Ojuelegba’

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The story goes like this. Drake & British-Nigerian Grime artist Skepta are good friends. Drake was recently in the UK for a concert. He gets in touch with his friend Skepta who then introduces him to Wizkid’s hit single ‘Ojuelegba’ off Wizkid’s 2014 album ‘Ayo.’ Drake is impressed. He follows Wizkid on one of his social media pages (instagram) and also acknowledges him.

Skepta and Drake then decide to remix ‘Ojuelegba.’ They remix and then wait for Wizkid to return to the UK. Upon Wizkid’s return, and I presume getting the necessary consent and clearances, they released the song yesterday evening. Needless to say, Nigerian music fans worldwide are going crazy.

Check on the remixed version.

‘Nigerian Music Going Global’ tracks the infiltration of contemporary Nigerian music and artists across the globe.

-Ms. Uduak

Business of Music North Africa Roundtable

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Africa Music Law™

AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law blog and podcast show by Fashion and Entertainment Lawyer Ms. Uduak Oduok empowering the African artist and Africa's rapidly evolving entertainment industry through brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews.

Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Ms. Uduak is also a Partner and Co-Founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. where she handles her law firm’s intellectual property law, media, business, fashion, and entertainment law practice areas. She has litigated a wide variety of cases in California courts and handled a variety of entertainment deals for clients in the USA, Africa, and Asia.

Her work and contributions to the creative industry have been recognized by numerous organizations including the National Bar Association, The American University School of Law and featured in prestigious legal publications in the USA including ABA Journal and The California Lawyer Magazine. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the prestigious Academy of Arts University in San Francisco.
For legal representation inquiries, please email (uduak@ebitulawgrp.com). For blog related inquiries i.e. advertising, licensing, or guest interview requests, please email (africamusiclaw@gmail.com). Thank you for visiting Africa Music Law™.

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2 Comments

  1. Winston Balagare says:

    Ms Uduak, you mentioned the obtaining of consent and clearances by Drake and Skepta in your post. But that’s likely the least of Ayo’s concern at this point.
    “Ojuelegba” is a nice enough song, but have you ever wondered why it’s been such a hit? Why it has garnered such crossover appeal? Why a mega-star like Drake would even want to add his vocals to it? I’m not dissing the song, but it’s not the best song to come out of Nigeria in the past few years. The true reason so many people feel like they love and relate to the song is because they heard it long before Wizkid released “Ojuelegba”.
    Listen closely to the actual music. Wizkid’s Legendury Beatz-produced “Ojuelegba” sounds just like American rapper Dr. Dre’s “Ain’t Nuthing But A G Thang”, which is itself a sample/interpolation of Leon Haywood’s original recording, “I Wanna Do Something Freaky To You”.
    The question here is not whether Ayo granted clearances to Drake and Skepta to alter and release the track. They merely used “Ojuelegba” for artistic purposes, and didn’t release their version for profit (as far as I can tell).
    However, Wizkid’s “Ayo” album, where the original version of “Ojuelegba” is found, was sold internationally online.
    Now, whether Ayo and Legendury Beatz sampled or interpolated the music of Leon Haywood, I’m guessing they didn’t go through the proper channels here in America before doing so. Remember, this StarBoy thing they’re doing is not an actual record label with seasoned industry personnel on its payroll. These are just some boys with talent and a laptop.
    Had Drake not jumped on the song, increasing its visibility and fame here in America, they may have gotten away with it. However, something tells me that Ayo will soon get a very harsh lesson in American copyright law, similar to the lesson learned by Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams earlier this year.

    1. Winston Balagare says:

      Looks like nobody involved was interested in being sued–the latest released version of the song is curiously missing that Leon Haywood-sounding part of the music. Too bad the “Ayo” album has already been sold, with countless places online to find evidence of the unauthorized use of the music. http://notjustok.com/2015/07/15/official-version-wizkid-ft-drake-skepta-ojuelegba-remix/

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