You know what’s hot right now? That Chainsmokers song, “Closer.” Yeah yeah, I know that somehow literally all of you knew about it before anyone else did, fuck off. It’s a good song. It sounds different and yet very representative of 2016 at the same time. I’d bang Halsey, probably.
You know what else is on fire right now? Music plagiarism lawsuits. Robin Thick lost a big-ass lawsuit to the Marvin Gaye estate last year, and less than a month ago we learned that some of the biggest pop stars in the world don’t write their own songs, or at the very least can’t take full credit.
Because the world loves litigation, the latest plagiaristic dust-up involves the aforementioned Chainsmokers and Fetty Wap, the artist voted most likely to be preceded by “what’s a…” when mentioned by your grandmother. The songs in question are “Closer” and Fetty’s extremely dope summer hit “679.” Take a listen:
That video is courtesy of Genius, formerly RapGenius, the official website of White Dads Who Want to Discover Drug References in Their Kids’ Music. As they point out, the chorus of “Closer” is similar to “679.” Look, the sheet music is even the same! Apart from the key, which they point out is easily changed for any song.
Except, if you’re familiar with “679,” you realize that’s only one small part of one verse in the song. And the sheet music isn’t even the exact same, key differences regardless. The intervals are different, however slightly.
Are they similar? Yes, no doubt about it. Or rather, they’re undeniably similar in isolation. But hopefully you, the proud owner of at least one ear and an IQ larger than your shoe size, understand that verses and stanzas don’t exist in isolation, and that “Closer” and “679” are so wildly different that it makes you realize how loose and catch-all the word “music” can be. “Closer” is about seeing an ex and remembering the time you fucked in a car. “679” is about [checks Genius]… not that, probably.
As I’ve said before, this is very bad for music. I’ve yet to hear of any lawsuits brought forth by either party, and I hope there aren’t. Because as long as artists can be badgered into pulling songs or sharing credit over a few musical notes (of which there are only so many), music is gonna suck.
Basically, I blame plagiarism settlements for EDM, which sucks balls. Fight me.