Frank Ocean Sues Producer Over Songwriting Credits

Frank Ocean
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– Frank Ocean
Frank Ocean performs at the 2017 Panorama Music Festival on Randall

Frank Ocean is suing producer Om’Mas Keith, alleging that the producer is trying to take songwriting credit for tracks off Ocean’s 2016 Blonde that he did not contribute to.

The suit names Keith’s Analogue Genius Corporation and several unnamed defendants and says that not any of them “own any portion of the copyright rights” to Ocean’s music, Rolling Stone reports.

Keith, who previously worked with Ocean on his breakout album, Channel Orange, allegedly tried to register as a co-writer for 11 songs on Blonde with publishing company ASCAP, according to the suit. At press time, Keith was still listed in ASCAP’s database as having writing credits for the songs, including “Nights,” “Pink + White” and “Nikes.”  

The suit claims that Ocean’s lawyers repeatedly tried to get Keith to sign a written agreement between 2014 and 2016 saying he did not write any of the songs on Blonde. It also says that Ocean “has never written any compositions with (Keith) … Defendants did not contribute any lyrics, melodies, or music that would give rise to any claim of authorship.”

When Keith worked on Channel Orange, he signed an agreement saying that he would produce certain tracks, receive a flat rate, and acknowledge that did not write or co-write any of the songs. The suit claims that when Ocean approached Keith to work on Blonde, the producer made a verbal agreement with the same conditions as the previous agreement when working on Channel Orange.

Keith later refused to sign a draft of a written agreement with those same conditions. After he continued to refuse to sign the deal, Ocean’s lawyers attempted to get Keith to “provide a detailed account” of the writing work he did on the album, but he “failed to respond.”

Ocean is asking the judge to rule that Keith does not have ownership over any of his songs and must stop claiming that he helped write them. He also seeks legal fees.  

Pollstar reached out to Keith’s representatives for comment. Ocean’s representatives declined to comment for this story.