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Mantse sues Hammer, demands ownership of all collaborations with him

After nearly two decades of lending his voice to recordings produced by Hammer of the Last Two, Nii Mantse Aryeequaye is seeking legal action to transfer ownership of all the works into his name.

Nii Mantse Aryeequaye

As the Founder of the Chalewote Street Art Festival, Mantse has filed a lawsuit against Hammer, alleging that the producer took unfair advantage of his works.

The legal action, initiated in July 2023, also involves Ghanaian musician Obrafour, on whose musical piece, 'Oye Ohene' remix, Mantse was featured. Obrafour had previously sued Canadian rapper Drake for $10 million in a New York court for sampling a portion of the song that featured Nii Mantse without proper authorization.

Drake had incorporated the sample from Obrafour's Oye Ohene remix into his track 'Calling My Name,' altering the song's ambiance. Obrafour claimed that Drake and other defendants had benefited from his work without permission.

Upon learning of the lawsuit, Mantse took to Twitter, asserting his sole ownership of the phrase 'Killer cut, blood' on Obrafour's 'Oye Ohene' remix. Failing to resolve issues with Obrafour and Hammer, Mantse decided to file a lawsuit against both parties.

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In his legal pursuit, Mantse is seeking ownership of moral and economic rights to the "killer cut, blood" phrase he voiced for Obrafour's 'Oye Ohene' remix. He is also seeking an injunction to restrain Obrafour, Hammer, or any party from demanding or receiving payment for the work, 'Killer cut, blood.' Additionally, he is pursuing General Damages against Obrafour for misappropriating his work and actively seeking profit from it. Moreover, Mantse wants Hammer to relinquish all works done for him and provide a record of all his works, including those used in other projects.

Throughout his career as a voice artist, Nii Mantse collaborated with various producers, but a significant portion of his recordings was with Hammer, making his voice synonymous with many of The Last Two songs. Hammer acknowledged Mantse's crucial role in his creative process, noting his unapologetically real and honest feedback. However, Nii Mantse has claimed that he was not compensated for the works he did for Hammer.

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