So I was driving home with my mom when a popular song came on the radio. Naturally, I started to sing it… “you got a fast car, I want a ticket to anywhere,”… and somehow my mom recognized the tune. I thought to myself there’s no way she’s up with the trends when she mentioned it sounded a lot like a song she used to listen to by Tracy Chapman. Jonas Blue had simply stolen his art form in his lyrics.

An art crime. He thought that changing the melody would justify the theft he’d just committed. So here we are discussing the numerous art crimes prevalent in my day to day life simply in the music that rings through my ears. It’s unfathomable how easily someone can steal another person’s ideas and get away with it.

What baffled me most was from that point on I began to recognize lyrics and melodies in so many popular songs. How could all these artists get away with this? This is plagiarism at the least!

While some artists like Flo Rida only steal lyrics from other artists like Dead or Alive for his classic 2009 hit, Right Round, others make it impossible to not see the resemblance. Popular country artist, Brett Young, made no attempts to hide his uncredited cover of Ain’t Too Proud to Beg, originally by the iconic ‘60s band, The Temptations.

If I’m going to be honest, my first time ever hearing most of these songs are in their stolen covers and I would never have even known. It is pathetic how unoriginal the artists in my generation have become. Dua Lipa nearly went as far as undergoing a lawsuit for her song Break My Heart, to claim she didn’t steal a melody from INXS in their song Need You Tonight, when the tunes are unmistakably the same.

I will credit a large sum of these artists to upholding some form of talent in the musical realm, but they lack the creativity that is truly admirable. Legends like Queen, Michael Jackson, and the Beatles wouldn’t be caught dead performing recycled songs that they claim are their own. What makes a legend is uniqueness, and creativity because talent without creativity is simply unimpressive.

What is most criminal in this detournement of music is that the truly talented artists are often uncredited and unrecognized, which is how these newer artists can get away with this. They find unmarked, raw talent and figure that no one will notice or care if they just “borrow” their ideas. It sickens me to witness how far the audible art world is being drawn away from its main purpose of expression and community by sad attempts to lust for fame. Hopefully someday soon my generation can reform the injustices against creative minds, and grasp onto whatever hope we still have for talent and new ideas.

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Serena Santoro

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