Tag Archives: plagiarism

New Project Idea: The Gaga Plagiarism List

So, how about a little site project?

As I re-listen to Born This Way, I can’t help but notice that almost every track has obvious influences — sometimes a bit too obvious. “Born This Way,” of course, infamously rips off “Express Yourself.” But who is talking about how “Highway Unicorn” directly rips off “Poker Face”? Have many people mentioned the striking similarities between “Electric Chapel” and Kylie Minogue’s “Cupid Boy”?

My own musical taste is probably too narrow to successfully point out all of the examples of rip-offs and questionable lines on the album. I’ve got a few more examples in the wings, but I want to see what you guys can come up with, too. When I make this list, I’ll categorize the various examples into ‘slam-dunk,’ ‘a bit suspicious,’ and ‘likely coincidental.’ I’d say that “Born This Way”/”Express Yourself” is a slam-dunk example of a rip-off, while the oft-cited Kelly Clarkson comparisons in “Edge of Glory” are likely coincidental.

At any rate, let me see the best examples of what your ear heard. We’ll turn this into a master list and spread it around the stan world.

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My Response to Arrogant Bastard DJ White Shadow

CONFIRMED: DJ White Shadow has read this blog post. I tweeted it to him and he replied saying that he read it and that “it’s great to have an opinion.” Diplomatic PR statement, or cowardly refusal to engage? You decide, reader… (Since I know that he reads his tweets, though, I told him that it speaks poorly of him and everyone on Gaga’s team that none of them had the guts to tell her that the song sounds like “Express Yourself.” Will he reply? Time will tell…)

Remember when the NME interview dropped and I speculated that, since Gaga revealed that no one around her had the courage to tell her that her “anthem of her generation” was blatantly plagiarized from Madonna’s “Express Yourself,” it is quite probable that Gaga surrounds herself entirely with sycophants?

Today, we have proof. Check out this quote from one of Gaga’s new producers, DJ White Shadow:

How many people have been copying Gaga since she came out? Oh, I have that answer: everyone. Have you seen all the lightning bolts painted on faces, or the one hand eye cover ups during photos, or the exact same promo posters being put up as Gaga’s, or the new popularity of unicorns, or the copycat fake “Oh I’m so cool with the gay community” rhetoric? Or how about the fact that there was barely any dance music on the radio until “Just Dance” came out? Come on motherfuckers, let’s keep it real here. If we are going to talk about who is chasing who, I think we all know the answer to that. So yeah, she did something new, and people had to reach back 20+ years to find a song that could have possibly sounded like it, and that made news? Come on. And I get to watch people try and fuck Gaga all the time and steal her shit, but guess what? While you were out trying to make the music she made off The Fame, thinking she was making The Fame v2.0, she went and made some next shit for you to chase for the next 3 years. So, suck on that.

Wow. Let’s take this cocky cunt’s bullshit line-by-line:

How many people have been copying Gaga since she came out? Oh, I have that answer: everyone.

A few have. Natalia Kills is a particularly glaring example, for instance. Besides her, I can’t really think of anyone “copying” Gaga.

Have you seen all the lightning bolts painted on faces,

No?

or the one hand eye cover ups during photos,

Two answers to this: (1) Apparently nobody covered one eye with one of their hands before Gaga did it in a split-second frame in the “Just Dance” video, (2) No?

or the exact same promo posters being put up as Gaga’s,

No?

or the new popularity of unicorns,

The fuck?

or the copycat fake “Oh I’m so cool with the gay community” rhetoric?

There’s a pro-gay zeitgeist, but Gaga is almost entirely a symptom, not a cause, of that.

Or how about the fact that there was barely any dance music on the radio until “Just Dance” came out?

Absolutely everything on The Fame has a precursor in three trailblazing albums: Loose, FutureSex/LoveSounds, and Blackout, whose sounds were crafted largely by the likes of Timbaland, Danja, and Bloodshy & Avant.

Come on motherfuckers, let’s keep it real here.

Indeed.

If we are going to talk about who is chasing who, I think we all know the answer to that.

Correct: Gaga is chasing Madonna.

So yeah, she did something new,

She didn’t.

and people had to reach back 20+ years to find a song that could have possibly sounded like it, and that made news?

It’s a rather famous song. The chorus to “Born This Way” was written in the same key and was, note-for-note, the same melody as the bridge to “Express Yourself.” The title of the Madonna song was trending on Twitter higher than the name of the Gaga song on the day of the song’s release. Let’s get real, here.

Come on.

Seriously.

And I get to watch people try and fuck Gaga all the time and steal her shit, but guess what? While you were out trying to make the music she made off The Fame, thinking she was making The Fame v2.0, she went and made some next shit for you to chase for the next 3 years. So, suck on that.

If he’s referring to “Born This Way,” then we’re about to hear an explosion of songs that sound like 90’s club remixes. If he’s referring to “Judas,” then he’s full of shit, since that song is most definitely The Fame v2.0. Perhaps there are fully innovative songs on the upcoming album, but from the previews we’ve been given, I seriously doubt it.

But there’s big news lurking underneath this: This man is representative of the type of people that Gaga surrounds herself with. That’s a rather unsettling thought!

New NME Interview: Is Lady Gaga Stable?

Oh, Gaga…

Just when I was ready to grant Lady Gaga some goodwill — I love “Judas” and quite liked the Born This Way cover — here drops this interview, in which she comes across as not only delusional, but a bit unstable:

A bit of it does sound quite a lot like ‘Express Yourself’, though, doesn’t it?

“I don’t think… I swear to you. I am not stupid enough to put out a record and be that moronic.”

The reference seemed so obvious that it had to be intentional because, as you say, you’re not stupid…

“No. Listen to me. Why the fuck…? I’m a songwriter. I’ve written loads of music. Why would I try to put out a song and think I’m getting one over on everybody? That’s retarded. What a completely ridiculous thing to even question me about. I will look you in your eyes and tell you that I am not dumb enough or moronic enough to think that you are dumb enough or moronic enough not to see that I would have stolen a melody. If you put the songs next to each other, side by side, the only similarities are the chord progression. It’s the same one that’s been in disco music for the last 50 years. Just because I’m the first fucking artist in 25 years to think of putting it on Top 40 radio, it doesn’t mean I’m a plagiarist, it means that I’m fucking smart. Sorry.”

The criticism did seem to take the wind out of the song’s sails.

“There’s a lot of people who want to see me fail. The minute they see something to shoot at, they shoot, and the bigger I become the bigger target I am. Nobody in this room at any point looked around and said ‘Oh my God, it’s ‘Express Yourself’. ‘ Not once. Listen. I swear to you. I can only be honest with you about it.”

What will people say about ‘Judas’?

“I dunno… I think they will really love it. (Starting to well up) I just don’t want my fans… I don’t know. This is exhausting. I just don’t wanna perpetuate that shit. I’m sure you want to address it but it’s just so ridiculous. I was just fucking shellshocked by it. It’s so funny to hear you say, ‘It must have been a homage’, I’m like, NO. When I homage, I fucking homage with a big sign saying I’ve done it. Why would I not do that now? (Sighs) I just like… I just have to say… (Starts crying) I feel like honestly that God sent me those lyrics and that melody. When you feel a message to give to the world and people are shooting arrows at it… there’s no way for something that pure to be wrong. (Reaches for Marilyn Monroe lighter) I need a cigarette.”

A few comments.

(1) It’s likely that nobody told her that it sounded like “Express Yourself” because of the kind of attitude she displayed here. She surrounds herself with sycophants who tell her how artistic, brilliant, beautiful and talented she is. Anyone accusing her of being anything other than a revolutionary renegade goddess is likely subject to verbal abuse. She is living in a fantasy world, and so far, she keeps the money rolling in. But she, like Britney Spears shortly into her career, is not surrounded by people who have her best interests at heart. If nobody told her that it sounded like “Express Yourself” — I mean, ‘Express Yourself’ was trending on Twitter on the day that “Born This Way” dropped — then her handlers are either profoundly ignorant of pop history (which is not good), or they are sycophantic yes-men who worship her every move. I’m betting on the latter, and that’s not good for her well-being.

(2) She says that God himself sent her the melody to “Judas.” I suppose that she does identify RedOne with God, given that he is the man behind her the hits that made her famous, such as “Just Dance,” “Poker Face,” “LoveGame,” and “Bad Romance.”  Wait, I think she meant for “Born This Way.” Well, that’s even more embarrassing. But wait — I thought she said that her Little Monsters wrote the album? Now God did. Okay.

(3) The melody of the chorus of “Born This Way” is identical, note-for-note, to the bridge of “Express Yourself,” and the songs are in the same key. Whether she consciously sought to copy the song is one thing, but as an amateur songwriter, I can tell you that we are sometimes inspired by songs when we don’t even realize it. We listen to thousands of songs and what we process isn’t always what we recall at any given moment. But it’s incumbent upon you, when you realize you’ve copied someone, intentionally or not, to admit it and move on. Gaga, of course, cannot do this, because she is nuts.

(4) This woman is going to have a major breakdown within the next three years. She has demonstrated no signs of emotional stability. She’s consumed by her work, but that can’t keep up forever.

Overall? I’m getting worried for this woman’s stability.

Gaga Round-Up: Ryan Tedder, Madonna’s Brother, and, Um…an Egg?

Ryan Tedder and Madonna’s brother both have called out Gaga’s blatant plagiarism. Still not sold? Try to ignore the production and tempo, and just sing these lines in succession: “Don’t go for second-best, baby, put your love to the test — I’m beautiful in my way, ’cause God makes no mistakes. I’m on the right track, baby, I was born this way!”

And apparently Gaga just showed up to the Grammys in, um, an egg. We can only assume she’s going to hatch on stage and be ‘born this way’; I’m hoping instead that Madonna grabs the egg and scrambles it.