The old Taylor might be dead, but she still has some legal matters to take care of before she can go away for good. This week, the people who wrote songs for 3LW sued Taylor Swift for allegedly using their lyrics in her song “Shake It Off,” and they might actually have a case.
In case you’re unfamiliar with 3LW, you’re probably too young to use the internet in the first place, but it stands for 3 Little Women, which is still a terrible name. The most notable thing about them is that one of the original members was Adrienne Bailon, future Cheetah Girl and Rob Kardashian’s one that got away. The second one was famous for also being a Cheetah Girl and having a lisp (sorry Kiely), and I could not pick the third one out of a lineup of two.
The song, released in 2001, is called “Playas Gon’ Play,” because spelling wasn’t a thing in 2001, and let’s be clear: It sounds nothing like Taylor’s song. But the lawsuit isn’t about the music, it’s about the lyrics. Which are iconic, BTW. In this song the chorus starts with “Playas, they gonna play, and haters, they gonna hate.” Sound familiar? Yeah, we thought so too when we first heard “Shake It Off”, but we weren’t sure if anybody else noticed it and didn’t want to age ourselves so we didn’t say anything.
3LW’s songwriters are claiming that these lyrics make up 20 percent of Taylor’s song, which really just goes to show how repetitive Taylor’s lyrics are. I will definitely be using this tidbit as ammo in my next debate with my Swiftie friend who tries to defend Taylor by saying she’s a musical genius. Anyway. In response, Taylor’s spokesperson said the claim is “ridiculous…and nothing more than a money grab.” The money grab part is definitely true, but like, you’re talking about a group of people who have, at best, not been relevant since Rob Kardashian was skinny and relatively sane. They’re gonna take what they can get, and honestly, I can’t blame them.
I’m not legally a judge, despite the amount of Law & Order: SVU I watch, but if it were up to me I’d award 3LW and their team whatever they’re suing for. You cannot come for my early 2000s classics and expect to get away with it! What’s next, is Taylor gonna try to write a song about how it’s “Hot in Herre”? I will not stand for it, and I won’t allow it.
This isn’t the first time Taylor has been sued over “Shake It Off.” In 2015, some rando named Jesse Braham said that Taylor ripped off his song “Haters Gone Hate,” and sued her for the not-excessive-at-all amount of $42 million. As you can guess, the case basically got laughed out of court. If this series of lawsuits has proved anything, it’s that we really need to educate our youth on how grammar works. “Playas” is not a word that exists in English. “Gon'” is not a word. “Gone” is not a verb. Get it together before you write more songs.