Popular rapper Drake has more than just the curmudgeons of the music journalism world to worry about... Playboy Mag (of "boobs" fame) apparently owns the rights to a song that sounds suspiciously similar to the background for "Best I Ever Had", by far the biggest hit off Drake's album Thank Me Later. Playboy decided to thank him now... with a court summons.
Thank Me Later has received mostly positive praise from the larger institutions of critical thought, including the chosen blog Pitchfork ("Thank Me Later presents its star as a bottle-serviced hip-hop headcase tirelessly searching for love and good times while caught up in his own thoughts" ...OK). A select few have held out, calling Drake middle class rap with little-to-no substance (OK). But Playboy is out for blood, citing the intro to the song as infringement, claiming Drake and Cash Money never asked for permission. They are seeking to stop all further sales and distribution of the song. Jugular!
Now this looks pretty dire for Drake, but suspending sales and distribution is a little bit of an overreaction, is it not, Playboy? Can't you reach some sort of licensing or monetary agreement? Can't you both agree that the internet has crippled both your industries and attack the real crooks (The Pirate Bay/You Porn)?
Either way, this speaks to a much larger issue that is continually cropping up in today's super-saturated world of information. With increased channels of distribution, any and every "popular" song will have a similar sounding counterpart somewhere... and that counterpart will always want a slice of the pie. Music is based on a select series of chord structures that are easily susceptible to repetition and overlap. With the internet providing endless tools for comparison and reduction, will anything ever be safe from critcism of copycatting every again?
And the largest question: why hasn't anyone sued Ke$ha yet (like the Sanitation Department)? Now there is some distribution worth stopping. -joe puglisi
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