AKA. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

AKA Is Getting Sued For The Song He Sampled On ‘One Time’

Sample clearance is always messy.

South African rapper and pop star AKA sampled the song "Party Weekend" by 80s group Future for his 2016 single "One Time." He is now in legal trouble as Enos Thembinkosi Lubisi, one of the two surviving members of Future is suing Universal Music South Africa, the label AKA released the song under, The Sowetan reports.

Lubisi also alleges that Sony Music South Africa claims the artist signed all the rights to the song to the label. The artist filed court papers at the South Gauteng Court on Wednesday stating that he wants to be declared the sole holder of the rights of both "Party Weekend" and "One Time."

Lubisi first heard the song in 2016, and said all he wanted was to be credited for his work. He was quoted by Daily Sun in November of 2016 as saying, "I was upset because someone was using the song I composed without my permission."

AKA was quoted by the same paper as saying: "It is not that I didn't want to credit the band. I just couldn't get in contact with them. I have repeatedly said I'm willing to apologize and give credit where it's due."

Read: How AKA's Sampling Is Preserving South African Classics

Ryan Hill of Universal Music said the label was under the impression Lubisi agreed to give the artist 60% of the composer rights to the track.

The court papers, according to Universal Music, have been signed by Universal and AKA and sent to Sony Music. Sony's legal team, however, said they didn't receive any court papers.

While it's really great for AKA and other young South African musicians to sample and honor South African legends, it's really important that the samples are cleared so the legends can also benefit.

Lubisi told Daily Sun that he loved what AKA did on "One Time."

"I like the way he sings," he said. "His song reminds me of the music made in the '80s. I am pretty impressed with him. But next time he must give credit where it is due."

We couldn't agree more.

Read: 'Touch My Blood' Is AKA's Most Layered Album

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This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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