In a decade of movie franchise reboots and a phoenix-like rebirth of 90210, we should have known it was coming: the musical zombie uprising. Soulless, thoughtless songs rising up from the corpses of dead classics. American Top 40 radio has already been overrun - how long will it be until the apocalypse is complete?
If anyone doubts that American hip hop is completely devoid of any shred of creativity, said individuals should observe the recent atrocity that is "Ghetto Girl," by Mann ft. Sean Kingston. It's bad enough that the verses are mindless hip-hop babble about thug life and easy women, but the chorus is a note-for-note rip-off of Billy Joel's classic rocker "Uptown Girl." Except now it's not "Up-town Girrrrrl." No, now its "Ghet-to Girrrrrrrrl." Note-for-note.
Considering the core audience of American hip hop, it's safe to assume that none of Sean Kingston's fans will notice that he ripped off Led Zeppelin's groundbreaking "Dyer Maker" in his hit "Me Love." Not that I blame him - if every song I wrote had verses this bland, I'd search for a lifejacket too. And thus, a hookless, soulless, thoughtless song is injected with an all-but-forgotten hook from a classic band. Copy and paste, baby.
But let's not pick on Mr. Kingston. Countless other rip-offs are happening under the cute noses of 14-year-old girls everywhere. In 2006, 8th graders and freshmen were shaking there pre-pubescent asses to "SOS," a smash hit by Rihanna. Rightly so; the song is the audio equivalent to crack cocaine. But one can't help but wonder, does anyone notice that the hypnotic beat and chords are ripped from Soft Cell's only hit single, "Tainted Love"? We're not just talking about sampling - we're talking hooks and lyrics too. "Tossin and turnin, can't sleep at night" croons Rihanna. Well I'm sure Marc Almond is having similar trouble sleeping.
The list goes on, and it would be tiring to abuse each shameless plagiarizer. Still, every time I hear the first few seconds of "Cupid's Chokehold," I want to put the Gym Class Heroes in a fatal chokehold.
"Take a look at my lyrics, they're the only ones I got."