Yes Lizzo, the truth does hurt

Shauna Power

Singer Lizzo is facing a plagiarism claim over her Number one hit “Truth Hurts”. 

Brothers Justin and Jeremiah Raisen claim the line “I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100 per cent that b*tch”, was taken from a demo called “Healthy” that she worked on with them, along with Jesse Saint John and Yves Rothman.

In an Instagram post, Justin Raisen said: “We were never contacted about being credited for the use of the parts of ‘Healthy’ (melody, lyrics, and chords) that paper in ‘Truth Hurts.”

According to Raisen he reached out to Lizzo’s team in 2017 to try and resolve the conflict but they were ‘shutdown every time’. They stated that they should receive some of the royalties for the hit and reportedly have asked for 5 per cent each.

He also claimed that the line originally came from a meme made about a tweet from singer Mina Lioness in February 2017 that said, “I just did a DNA test turns out I’m 100 per cent that b*tch.”

“If she thought I had the autonomy to truly challenge her and assert my rights. She would have given me my writers credit”, Lioness tweeted in August, “We didn’t have the same idea, it was my tweet that was taken from Twitter and put into a song.”

Lizzo is not the first to be accused of plagiarism and will not be the last. Many famous artists have been accused, such as Oasis, Coldplay, Radiohead and most recently Ed Sheeran, who was sued for $100 million over the alleged plagiarism of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” for his hit “Thinking Out Loud”.

It is human nature to look back on the past with rose-tinted glasses. With major artists sampling other artists’ music and having successful hits, who knows what music today would sound like without the art of sampling.

If a song is sampled and correctly attributed to the original artist then some may think that this is acceptable, which in law it technically is. However in years to come when we look back on the music of our generation, the stand-out artists/songs will be remakes or heavy sampled and this generation of musicians will ultimately be known as the “copy-cat” era.

The lack of authenticity within the music industry is disheartening but it is easy to understand how we have gotten to this stage. It is known that most pop songs use the same four chord progression so naturally they sound similar. Just like any creative profession, it is hard to come up with something fresh but it is imperative that the music industry continues to maintain the high standards set by its predecessors.

Sampling of old songs has become a trend that sheds a light on previous artists music which younger generations may not have known before. It can be viewed as keeping old classics alive or laziness on behalf of the recreating artist, either way this has been a trend for years and doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

Shauna Power

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