Rising R&B singer Frank Ocean is in some hot water after releasing his single, “American Wedding,” in which he used the music from the Eagles’ 1977 mega-hit “Hotel California.” Ocean recorded his own lyrics over the original track without getting permission and although it was originally released without a label, Def Jam is preparing for its commercial release. Ocean, however, doesn’t think he did anything wrong. “[Eagles frontman] Don Henley is apparently intimidated by my rendition of ‘Hotel California.’ He threatened to sue if I perform it again. I think that’s f***** awesome,” Ocean wrote on his Tumblr page. “I didn’t make a dime off that song. I released it for free. If anything, I’m paying homage.” As it turns out, the legendary rockers don’t agree with Ocean’s take on 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,” the band’s rep said in a statement to the L.A. Times. “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.”
“American Wedding” is not available for download on iTunes and the audio has been disabled on a YouTube video of Ocean performing the song live. But watch the video below of someone doing a cover of Ocean’s track to see what all the fuss is about.