It looks like newcomer and Odd Future affiliate Frank Ocean has hit his first musical roadblock. Ocean is reportedly being threatened with legal action by Eagles founder Don Henley for his track “American Wedding”. The track features a samples of “Hotel California”, and if Ocean performs the song live, he will be hit with a major lawsuit.
“Don Henley is apparently intimidated by my rendition of hotel california,” revealed Ocean. “He threatened to sue if I perform it again. I think that’s f*ckin awesome.”
Henley’s spokesperson Larry Solters reached out to MTV News to clarify the matter. “Frank Ocean did not merely ‘sample’ a portion of the Eagles’ ‘Hotel California’; he took the whole master track, plus the song’s existing melody, and replaced the lyrics with his own,” he said in a written statement. “This is not creative, let alone ‘intimidating.’ It’s illegal.”
The sample was never officially cleared and the project was never commercially released. The song appears Ocean’s 2011 free debut, Nostalgia, Ultra.
On his Tumblr, Ocean spoke about the matter further.
“Sh–’s weird. Ain’t this guy rich as f—? Why sue the new guy,” he wrote. “I didn’t make a dime off that song. I released it for free. If anything I’m paying homage.”
I guess we can forget about seeing Frank Ocean perform this song at Coachella! Oh well! Ocean is working on his first Def Jam release and will appear on Odd Future’s compilation, The OF Tape Vol. 2, due March 20.