Eagles Rep Comments On Pending Lawsuit Against Frank Ocean

UPDATE: Frank Ocean says that Don Henley doesn't want him to perform his song containing a sample of "Hotel California."

Frank Ocean is facing a lawsuit over his use of Eagles' classic "Hotel California" on "American Wedding," a cut included on his breakout mixtape Nostalgia/Ultra.

In a post on his Tumblr page, the OFWGKTA member said that Don Henley threatened to sue him if he performed the song again. "Don henley is apparently intimidated by my rendition of Hotel California..," he wrote. "He threatened to sue if I perform it again. I think that’s fuckin awesome."

Last year, FO performed the track during several performances on a mini-tour. During the track, he cued up Guitar Hero and performed the guitar solo on a giant screen mid-concert.

[February 29]

UPDATE: Eagles' rep has responded to Frank Ocean's comments, claiming that he took the entire original track and deemed it "illegal." Read the full statement below (via LA Times).

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.” It’s illegal. For the record, Don Henley has not threatened or instituted any legal action against Frank Ocean, although the Eagles are now considering whether they should. Any further questions regarding this matter should be directed to Warner Music Group as it is the entity that currently owns the master recording and made the contact with Frank Ocean’s representatives concerning his infringement of the master recording. 

RELATED: Frank Ocean Announces Def Jam Debut For Spring 2012

58 Comments

  • FRANK OCEAN

    Y'ALL STILL TRYNA CALL ME A NO-NAME NOW MY GRAMMY SAYS OTHERWISE WASSUP THO

  • only comment worth reading

    FOR FUCK SAKE he used the shit for a mixtape! these old ass muhfuckaz act like he blew up off it and besides FRANK OCEAN KILLT THAT SHIT!what u gotta take a nigga to court for?he did his thang on that track.Eagles are haters.

  • Anonymous

    Just because he sampled it doesn't mean it's a homage. Dude took the Eagles off there music and used it. He got caught. Shit happens all the time. Let's not worry about it because this dude is a clown. The whole OF is filled with 'em. They wanna treat ppl like dicks and act that way, cool, but they gotta deal with the bullshit thrown back

  • Anonymous

    If every frat boy didn't get permission, then yeah, they'd all get sued too. When you're talking about The Eagles, old or not, it's big business. Big money. And like I said. Older artists don't like rappers messin with their stuff, especially when they do it all snake like and use it anyway.

  • Anonymous

    FOR FUCK SAKE he used the shit for a mixtape! these old ass muhfuckaz act like he blew up off it and besides FRANK OCEAN KILLT THAT SHIT!what u gotta take a nigga to court for?he did his thang on that track.Eagles are haters

  • Kno

    When The Eagles start suing every frat boy with an acoustic guitar for covering their songs at paid gigs without the proper licenses I'll believe this isn't all based in racism.

  • Anonymous

    Mixtapes and bootlegs are sold on the street all the time. That said, alot of the older generation artists don't like their music messed with. On one hand, if Ocean isn't making money off it, it shouldn't matter. Yet, if he's ripping The Eagles off. Whose next? Foreigner? lol Probably better to avoid any lawsuits and not use the song in any way.

  • Anonymous

    The dumb nigga should have replayed, chop it, filtered it through the SP1200, looped that shit or something....

  • Anonymous

    Sounds like the Eagles ARE intimidated....that nobody cares anymore, thats the only reason I can see why they're threatening to sue a no-name like Frank Ocean..

    • Anonymous

      well im not talking about back then im talking about NOW and right NOW the Eagles are as prominent as the shit I took a week ago. Idc what they did in the 70s right now, half of America probably dosent even know they're still alive.

    • Anonymous

      You are on crack my friend. I listen to rap, I love rap. However, the Eagles are bigger than Frank Ocean is 100 hundred times over. And then 100 times over that 100 hundred times. In fact, they are bigger than any rapper could dream to be - look it up Eagles Greatest hits is the United States best selling record (thriller in the world). I don't think they are intimidated dude.

  • Words of Wisdom

    Okay we can do without the racist comments on anonymous. I think we can all discuss this situation without throwing immature ignorant racist comments in. That being said, Frank Ocean did not make any money off of this song, I think it pays homage to the hit Eagles record. And its a beautiful song actually. Frank Ocean is not a starving artist, he is far from not creative. He is very new to the music industry. His hasn't even ahd a debut album yet. Yes the Eagles may have the right to sue but I think its unnecessary and immature too

  • bruce

    Who does Frank Ocean think he is? Get an imagination, Frank. The Eagles made their own music using their own imagination. You need to do the same. Stop using other people's music like that other idiot Diddy did.

    • Anonymous

      first off go listen to his album then come back and talk..the album isnt all samples and hes one of the most creative original r&b artist to come out in awhile

  • shut the fuck up

    it's the eagle's song. end of story. they have the right to do whatever the fuck they want to. stop being ignorant street niggers and think for a fucking second.

  • Anonymous

    haha fuck this faggot, has to steal a popular song to stay relevant.

  • commercial ass rappers

    Frank Ocean obviously needs to be brought up to speed on how this music industry shit works. what a dummy!

  • augustevryday

    A common myth about Copyright is that if you don't use another person's work for sale or money than you cn't be sued. that is very untrue,copyright has nothing to do with money. But I dont think Frank Ocean should be being sued because he sampled for Homage and he is a starving artist. But before any one calls me dumb and say i don't know what I'm tlking about, do your research on copyright first

  • diggz

    i dont understand. i no that he performs it at shows but it was on a mixtape. mixtapes are free. hes not makin money off it so how can you sue? mixtapes are filled wit jacked beats, samples, and voices of people that wouldnt normally allow it to happen but cant do shit bout it.

    • Anonymous

      uh, idk if you recall, but a while ago i remember cops raided some place that was producing mixtapes and confiscated them. the jacked beats on mixtapes ARE illegal, but no rapper ever complains about copyright for whatever reason. maybe they're too stupid to care, or just enjoy the exposure since the mixtapes arent (supposed to be) sold for profit.

  • thought dog

    Im all for sampling and creating beats from it but this dude pulled a Diddy and jacked the entire song and created some wack shit with it.

  • Mr Flamboyant

    In this case, the Eagles have a point. It's actually THEIR song and dude is making bank and fame from it. Unlike that foolishness that DoItAll from the Lords came out with yesterday or whenever that was.

    • Ummmmmm

      Thats not foolishness. The boy sampled them and now they are making money off it. Why should you not get a cut if they sampled your song? The Lords had it replayed so it's original work.

  • ummmmmmm

    Im not mad at the rep for the Eagles. you NIGGAS fall for the fantasy and BS that is Urban music today. But the rest of the world works on rules and codes. And in the real world, you can't just use someone's song without permission. Do we (the urban culture) really have to be so engulfed and infatuated with illegal activity that we start hating on people who are simply standing up for not getting taken advantage of or stolen from? Niggas is basically saying, " Yo who cares if he stole from you. You are just hating". When did that become a part of reality? But if someone steals your JORDANS, you gonna be ready to kill someone. and you aint even create them LOL and SMH.

    • Anonymous

      seriously. any time something happens to a rapper for whatever perfectly legal reason, it's "hating". ya'll can't even come up with any other excuse than 'nah fukk u haterzz'.

  • In Your Fucking Face

    How Much Money Do They Think He's Made? He's Performed It Maybe 6 Times At Venues With 100 People Or Less. I Do See Intimidation. Why Else Would He Fucking Care? Frank Is Like A Flea To Duke And Far From A Household Name. Son Was Paying Homage And Opening The Eagles Up To A Whole New Young Audience. At The Most Frank's Made 100k Of Those Shows. The Eagles Have Sold 120,000,000 Albums... You Aint A Real Nigga Don Henley

  • Anonymous

    Eagles are bitch made...

    • Anonymous

      and you're a fucking retard. remind me to steal some shit from your place, since you clearly don't care.

  • Anonymous

    Good sue this faggot, ruining a classic like that. fucking bitch made dick sucking fag. Tight jeans wearing ass bitch! Fuck you and that fucking monkey tyler the dick sucker

  • Anonymous

    Anybody who resorts to calling this in any way racist is an idiot The Eagles have let Black artists sample there music before, they probably just think this kid sucks and dont want him personally sampling there shit, which is there right, its there fuckin song!!

  • Copyright

    Hip-Hop/Rap artists that have LEGALLY sampled songs by the Eagles or Eagles members: Eric B. & Rakim, Beastie Boys, Jay-Z, Papoose, Ja Rule, Yelawolf, French Montana, The New Style, Cold Crush Brothers, Fantastic Five, Mikey D and the L.A. Posse, Mother Superia, & Manchild. So this has nothing to do with race! It's called clear the sample before you make money from it.

  • Anonymous

    it was a mix tape its so easy to compare to how rappers rap over other's beats he made a song using another's song, omg end the world he made no profit, it was a mix tape and it was a good song this is not for the sake of music, the eagles are just "wilding for respect" right now, there has been no damage done to them fuck is the problem?

    • diggz

      i no he performed it at shows. but think bout it. the game dissed 50 cent at live shows over 50s beats and had rats come on stage wearing g unit shirts. 50 would of sued if he could of. theres a loop hole. they cant do shit. they can try

    • Anonymous

      true, very true but without the lawful aspect of it, they are just being bitchmade about it I've seen artists completely perform others songs as a tribute, they should look at it as a good thing

    • RSX

      Although I agree that the Eagles are being bitchmade, there is a valid argument on their side because FO has performed AW at ticketed concerts, thus meaning that he made money off of it, which the Eagles are entitled to a cut of.

  • OMG

    Learn to write your own music.

  • Mirror

    Frank please top dont sound ignorant disrespecting good energy

  • Ron Grant

    Man, there are so many issues at play here: the crossing of generational boundaries in music, the whole D.I.Y. aspect, the IP issue, use of technology, performance rights, ownership, we could go on and on and on...seriously! Wonder how this one will turn out.

  • Anonymous

    Hotel California is a Satanic song about Demonic possessin... leave it to Odd Future and there Lucifarian crew to remake it~

  • Rx

    I could understand how, as an artist, you put hard work into your songs only to have it jumped and someone else ups and takes that sound to make it like they're the ones who created it, ignoring how much hard work previously went into making the original.

    • diggz

      yo beasleyrockah you are definitely right bout that

    • gaetarick

      @ beasleyrockah I love FO's American wedding, but this was not a cover ... "he took the whole master track, plus the songs existing melody, and replaced the lyrics with his own"

    • beasleyrockah

      It's only illegal if you profit from it, hence the live performance at paid gigs angle. It was a free mixtape, so he couldn't get at him through that platform. End of the day, tons of rock music is based on covers. Elvis did it to death, Jimi did it, hell Smashing Pumpkins covered Fleetwood Mac...I think it's an issue because he's black and hip hop affiliated...if it was some talentless garage band hacks Don wouldn't even have heard about it. Frank created his own buzz, and now he's paying for the fame and attention...I'm sure it's a trade off he'll accept.

    • Anonymous

      ^agreed plus its a mixtape

    • naaahnahnah

      i hear you, but the eagles have so much seniority that it would be difficult to see it as anything other than homage. if it were some newer, lesser-known band, then maybe. but who doesn't know this song, you know?

  • Anonymous

    thats fucked up. suing because he's using the instrumentation for a performance? i bet he doesn't threaten to sue all the artists that play a cover of hotel california, does he?

    • gaetarick

      I love FO's American Wedding, but this was not a cover ... "he took the whole master track, plus the songs existing melody, and replaced the lyrics with his own"

    • Roy Davis II

      Fellas, Youngstas, Folks, Whatever, here is the truth: Henley isn't suing because FO's song sounds better; it isn't about money; hating; or any of that stuff. The fact is that it is the LAW. If you create something, you have the SOLE right to say what anybody else can do with it. If FO had contacted Henley BEFORE doing the record, or did a DIRECT cover, he would not have been threatened in all likelyhood. It may be a money issue. He didn't get money from the mixtape, but he DOES get paid for performances. Without giving proper credit (and usually $$$) when you sample, you are always at risk of LOSING lawsuits. And all that bitching y'all do on these websites won't change it. The solution: Do you business straight up or CREATE your OWN Music. Complaining about it will get you nowhere. Believe that. -RBanga!

    • fuck the eagles

      its cus american wedding sounds a lot better than hotel california and the dude is scared that when people hear that beat they gonna b thinkin of frank ocean version

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