1). Quick! What do Rihanna and Michael Jackson have in common? If you answered, “they’re both black,” then congratulations! You’re really racist! The correct answer is one song- Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop The Music”. The 2007 hit song samples Michael Jackson’s “Wanna be Startin’ Somethin’”, specifically the part when he goes, “Mamma see mama saw mama koosa”. Apparently, plagiarism applies to gibberish too. Or so claims the spectacularly named Manu Dibangu.
Dibangu released his own song way back in 1972 called “Soul Makoosa” which he claims is the original inspiration for Jackson’s 1983 song. And although he’s in his 80’s, Manu had the strength to sue two big time musicians and get this…win. The fault isn’t actually Mike’s, he sampled everything legally. But when it came to transfer the rights to Rihanna, he screwed up. You see, the rights weren’t his to transfer, so both Rihanna and Michael basically ripped off Manu Di-awesomename-bangu.
2). In 2006 we learned that Pluto was no longer a planet, and that Shakira’s hips did not indeed lie. The song, released with Wyclef Jean for charity purposes, hit number 1 on the charts and, within days, dominated the radios all over America. The key word here being America. You see, in South America, a song had already hit the charts and done well that sounded a lot like Shakira’s.
It was called “Amores Como el Nuestro”, by popular salsa singer Jerry Riviera. Jerry claimed that Shakira stole the trumpet beat from his song and used it in her hit single. Jerry didn’t press charges, but made the allegations as public as possible; enough so that Shakira didn’t show up for Spain’s Academy of Arts and Sciences Awards (Spain’s Grammys). Entertainment outlets rumored that she was dodging questions about the plagiarism.
It doesn’t end there; a few weeks later another Spanish singer, Luis Dias, accused Shakira of stealing the refrain from one of his songs. And then, Shakira was again accused of stealing lyrics from a popular carnival song sung by a one Fernando Villalona. None of these artists pressed charges.
3). “Come Together” is one of those songs that make you listen to what’s on today and shake your head in disappointment. It’s the epitome of good Beatles music and the feelings behind the 70’s Occupy hippy movement. Its beat is so
pure that it’s been legally covered three times, each by other great bands like Aerosmith. That’s why it’s shocking to hear that the song is so stolen, the Beatles acknowledged they stole it themselves.
In 1973, The Beatles were sued by Big Seven Music Corp which handled Chuck Berry’s “You Can’t Catch Me”. They claimed that not only was the beat from “Come Together” just Berry’s song slowed down, the lyrics were also stolen. For reference, the lyrics in question are John Lennon’s “Here come ol’ flattop, he come groovin’ up slowly” to Berry’s “Here come a flattop, he was movin’ up with me”.
Both parties settled out of court, but Lennon wasn’t done. He vowed to record three more songs owned by Big Seven Music Corp. Big Music responded politely by doing the same thing to John Lennon, releasing a series of unauthorized outtakes designed to embarrass Lennon. When it was time to take the wreckage to court, both sides lawyered up in what must have been an epic legal showdown. In the end, it was John Lennon that won, to the tune of 85 grand.
Just to name a few. Some of today’s great hit’s are stolen?? or just done out of respect?
Until next blog, write some hit records.
- Barcelona Pique welcomes baby boy with “Waka Waka” singer,Shakira (mosvinbami.com)