Odd Future’s Frank Ocean: ‘I’m paying homage to The Eagles’ Don Henley’

'Why sue the new guy?' says RnB singer as legal dispute continues

Odd Future‘s Frank Ocean has insisted that he is “paying homage” to The Eagles‘ Don Henley on his track ‘American Wedding’ and doesn’t deserve to be sued.

Earlier this week, Ocean claimed that Henley was “intimidated” by the track, which is a reinterpretation of the Eagles’ classic song ‘Hotel California’, and said that he had been threatened with legal action unless he stopped performing it.

A spokesperson for Henley subsequently insisted that the legal notice had come from Warner Music Group rather than the frontman himself, and also described Ocean’s track as “illegal”. He said: “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. This is not creative, let alone “intimidating”.”

Ocean has now updated his Tumblr account to respond to the latest developments, writing: “I guess if I play it at Coachella it’ll cost me a couple hundred racks. If I don’t show up to court, it’ll be a judgement against me and will probably show up on my credit report. Oh well. I try to buy my shit cash anyway.”

He went on to add:

They also asked that I release a statement expressing my admiration for Mr.Henley, along with my assistance pulling it off the web as much as possible. Shit’s weird. Ain’t this guy rich as fuck? Why sue the new guy? I didn’t make a dime off that song. I released it for free. If anything I’m paying homage.

Ocean, who came second in the BBC Sound Of 2012 poll in January of this year, is currently working on his own solo album and will also feature on Odd Future’s new LP ‘OF Tape Vol 2’, which is set for release on March 19.

Although the album will feature new material from the likes of Tyler, The Creator, Frank Ocean, Hodgy Beats, Left Brain and The Internet, it appears that rapper Earl Sweatshirt, who recently reunited with the group, will not be involved as he is not mentioned on the LP’s tracklisting.

Last week, it was revealed that Odd Future are working with Kanye West on new material. The studio hook-up was documented in a series of pictures posted on their official blog, Golfwang.tumblr.com, with key members Tyler, The Creator and Frank Ocean both pictured.

Odd Future will play a handful of tour dates in the UK and Ireland next month. The gigs kick off Birmingham’s O2 Academy on March 28, and end on April 2 at Dublin Olympia. The run also includes shows in London, Manchester and Glasgow.

To read a new feature about Odd Future, pick up the new issue of NME, which is on UK newsstands now or available digitally.