5 Times Nigerian artists have fought over song ownership
Nigerian artists who have fought over song ownership.
The issue of song ownership and theft among Nigerian artists is perhaps as old as the music industry itself.
Many artists have clashed with other artists and even record labels over the years on who is the true owner of particular songs.
Given the recent incident between comedian Carterefe and Berri Tiga over ownership of a song, Mp3bullet.ng compiled a list of the major times Nigerian artists have fought over the ownership of their song.
- Nigerian Artists who have been accused of Copyright Infringement
- Nigerian artists who fought and later settled their beef
Carterefe/Berri Tiga (Machala)
Due to his appearances in sketches, Oderhohwo Efe, nicknamed Carterefe, was better known as an Instagram comedian. Many people were astonished, however, when Efe announced the release of a new song called ‘Machala.’ He was reported to feature an artist named Berri Tiga.
However, there was great confusion when people heard the song and realised that Berri Tiga sang a sizable amount of it. In actuality, Carter seems to have just appeared vocally in the intro.
Since Berri did not cry foul, many felt Carter was indeed the rightful owner of the song and that the duo had a working arrangement.
Thus, it was unexpected to learn that the song had been removed from a number of music streaming services, including Apple Music and Spotify.
No reasons were given; however, insiders say it might not be unconnected to the ownership and rights tussle between both artists.
The fallout between Efe and Tiga began when Berri Tiga, in an Instagram life, said, “I wrote and sang Machala 100 Percent”.
Efe, who unfollowed Berri Tiga on Instagram, accused him of seeking attention.
Efe also shared a screenshot of a conversation in which Berri Tiga thanked him for the opportunity to appear in the song.
Efe also stated that another artist, Hotkid, had a verse on the song, but Tiga begged with him to remove it since Hotkid would ‘take the shine’ off the tune. He continued, saying Berri was thanking him for the chance while also claiming ownership of the song on Instagram.
Portable/Poco Lee (Zazzu Zeh)
To call Habeeb Okikiola, known as Portable, one of the most contentious artists in recent times is an understatement.
The musician has primarily been in the headlines for the wrong reasons since he rose to fame in the latter half of 2021.
Recall that he first gained popularity when his song, “Zazzu Zeh,” on which he collaborated with rapper Olamide, was released. His reputation soared, and he received invitations to perform at numerous events.
However, his relationship with Poco Lee did not endure long, as he accused the latter of attempting to rip (cheat) him off. He said that Poco Lee uploaded the music on the Internet and claimed ownership.
Shortly after performing at the popular singer, Wizkid’s concert in December, Portable made a video to accuse Poco Lee of stealing his song, and the $3,000 sprayed on him on the stage by Wizkid.
Speaking in Yoruba, he said, “Wizkid blessed me with $3,000. But Poco Lee, the dancer, picked the money. Out of $3,000, he gave me only $600. I am a street boy. Poco Lee, you did not show love at all. Rather, your intention was to rip (cheat) me. Are you the owner of the song? Why was the song released as ‘Poco Lee featuring Portable and Olamide’; instead of it being the other way round? Are you mad? You had better respect yourself.”
Due to the several controversies, Portable has been involved in, Poco Lee has distanced himself from the singer. In a tweet which many believed was targeted at the singer, Lee wrote, “I wish I never took that talkative nuisance out of the trenches.”
Tiwa Savage/Seyi Shay (Lova Lova)
For as long as anyone can remember, there has been no love lost between Tiwa Savage and Seyi Shay. They clashed at a hair salon as their hostility came to a head. Tiwa could be heard yelling when Shay approached her to meet her in Online videos that went viral.
Savage requested Shay not to approach her since she knows she (Shay) dislikes her and has spoken critically about her.
Shortly after the occurrence, Seyi Shay stated in an interview that she composed Savage’s verse in the song “Lova Lova,” which featured Duncan Mighty. She implied that Savage had taken certain efforts to undermine her brand.
She said, “This is the same person that took my song, ‘Lova Lova’, which is one of her biggest songs ever. I composed that song with…but when I called her that I co-wrote the song, she said she did not believe what I said, and she refused to compensate me.
“She was the same person who attacked a popular artiste because she featured on my song, after the artiste had featured on her own song too. She also approached a popular brand to withdraw me as their ambassador. All these have been going on for years but I said nothing about it. It is just unfortunate.”
However, the duo appears to have put the incident behind them, as they shared a hug at a concert in December 2021.
It also bears stating that an artiste, Danny Young, once sued Savage to the tune of N200m. According to Young, Savage used some lines from his song, ‘Oju ti ti Won’ in her song, ‘All Over’.
Both parties later settled the case out of court.
Ay.com/Terry G (Pass Me your Love)
Though both artists, Gabriel Amanyi (Terry G) and Ayoola Johnson (Ay.com), are no longer as popular as they once were, many people remember their nasty feud over a song.
The song “Pass Me Your Love” by Ay.com was once among the most popular in the nation. He featured Terry G, who was another popular performer at the time.
However, relations between them soured, and Ay requested that Terry stop singing the song at events and concerts. He said that Terry G was performing the song like it was his own and stealing the spotlight.
At the height of their spat, Ay once stormed an event where Terry G had performed the song.
Taking to the stage, the former said, “Whenever you are cheated, you have to speak up. Otherwise, you would lose out. What happened between me and Terry G had to happen. I want to explain something to my fans. I composed the song.
“How would you feel that after your hard work, another man is reaping the fruits of your labour? He was performing the song and getting paid. Meanwhile, me as the rightful owner of the house, would be at home doing nothing. I even told me that we should perform the song together whenever he had a show, but he did not listen to me. To all my fans, whenever you see Terry G performing ‘Pass Me your Love’, please stop him, to help the Nigerian music industry.”
However, in an interview years ago, Ay claimed that the matter had been resolved amicably.
He said, “Me and Terry G is an old issue, and I don’t really like to talk about it anymore. We are ‘cool’ with each other now. We are colleagues and as regards working with him again, nobody can predict the future.”
Apparently still attached to the song, Ay.com recently released its remix; over 10 years after the first song was released. On the remix, he featured Peruzzi. However, it did not do as well as the original version.”
- Nigerian artists who have sponsored the music videos of other musicians
- Nigerian artists who have gotten into trouble with the law in foreign countries
2Baba/Blackface (African Queen)
Both Ahmedu Obiabo (Blackface) and Innocent Idibia (2baba, also known as 2face), who hails from Benue State, were formerly members of Plantashun Boiz. However, things have started to fall apart between the former friends and partners.
After 2baba went solo, he recorded a song called ‘African Queen,’ which is still one of the singer’s biggest hits. It may be found on his first solo album, “Face 2 Face.”
Later, Blackface stepped out to claim ownership of the song, a claim that 2baba did not contest.
Blackface eventually started insulting 2baba at any chance he got. This prompted the latter to file a N50 million character defamation lawsuit against Blackface.
Though different stakeholders and important personalities have tried to mend fences between the duo, the truce never lasts.
However, in 2019, they both agree to settle the matter out of court. A source close to the duo was alleged to have said, “After the successful mediation, Blackfaze promised not to publicly accuse 2baba again, while 2baba agreed to make all the necessary corrections and amendments that had prevented Blackfaze from receiving royalties.”
Blackface even went on to release his own version of ‘African Queen’, but it did not do nearly as well as 2baba’s version.