Caiphus Semenya, the legendary jazz musician, recently spoke out to address claims made about a legal dispute between himself and AKA, the late South African rapper. The legal dispute pertains to royalties and copyright infringements on two of Semenya’s songs, which AKA had used in portions of his tracks without permission.
On Sunday, April 2nd, South African publication Sunday World reported that Semenya was taking AKA and his distribution company, Sony Music, to court over the unauthorized use of his songs. Semenya is reportedly demanding 50% of royalties for the unauthorized use of his song Matswale, which AKA used when making Caiphus Song. Additionally, AKA allegedly used lyrics from Semenya’s song Hamba Nam Weh in his track Diary (Anxiety), which was part of his posthumous album Mass Country.
Recently, Semenya spoke to Nkululeko Nkewu on the YouTube podcast Nkululeko n Cultr, reflecting on the legal dispute. Semenya explained that although he had not himself negotiated with AKA, his publisher had done the negotiations with the rapper’s team. Semenya had set up Semenya Music when he was 32 years old and since then he hadn’t had to negotiate any songs; his publisher had handled that.
Semenya clarified that AKA had already rectified the issue with Matswale by the time AKA passed away. The musician took issue with the journalist behind the original story, saying that the article did not accurately reflect the situation as it stands. The article mentioned the earlier Matswale dispute, which had already been resolved, and did not mention the Hamba Nam Weh dispute.
Throughout the podcast episode, Semenya emphasized his sympathies toward AKA and the late rapper’s family. He referred to AKA as a “smart” young man and admired him as an artist. Semenya explained that he was relying on his administrator to handle the second dispute, which was further complicated by the fact that AKA had passed away.
Overall, it is clear that Semenya is not interested in pursuing legal action against AKA or his family. His aim was to clarify the situation from his point of view and to pay honor to his legacy as a respected jazz musician.