Black-Eyed Peas and Plagiarism

For the second time in a year, the Black-Eyed Peas face a possible legal action because of plagiarism.  In this particular case, it’s hard to imagine how the BEP’s DIDN’T hear this original song by Phoenix Phenom, who submitted the song to executives at Interscope Records which happens to be the Black-Eyed Peas record label.  Have a listen to Phoenix Phenom’s (her real name is  Ebony Latrice Batts) original song:

And now, here’s the Black-Eyed Peas song “Boom Boom Pow”, which was a huge hit for them:

At the risk of getting into trouble, here’s a section of the lyrics from Boom Dynamite:

I got that boom dynamite, I make it bang all night
I got that boom dynamite, I make it bang all night
I got that boom boom boom boom boom
I got that boom boom boom boom boom

What you got that I ain’t got (nothing)
I could make it shake when the beat drops (money)
Is what ya’ll say when you hear this
Fear this cause you’ll never come near this
All the boys wanna tap tap tap
Flosin’ jewels with the rap rap rap
They like the bus downs with the clap clap clap
But this right here snap snap snap
(I got that thang) I got that thang (thang)
That make ’em mine
I try to take it to take it to the floor but they cant handle (no they cant handle)
Ya’ll cant pop (pop) pop
You cant drop (drop) drop
I’m like a beat 52 I’m coming for you

And an excerpt from the Black-Eyed Peas version:

Boom boom boom, now
Boom boom boom, now
Boom boom pow
Boom boom

Yo, I got that hit that beat the block
You can get that bass overload
I got the that rock and roll
That future flow

That digital spit
Next level visual shit
I got that boom boom pow
How the beat bang, boom boom pow

I like that boom boom pow
Them chickens jackin’ my style
They try copy my swagger
I’m on that next shit now

I’m so 3008
You so 2000 and late
I got that boom, boom, boom
That future boom, boom, boom
Let me get it now

The lyrics are not exactly the same…the subject matter is similar.  The rhythm and lyrical meter in each song are definitely similar, and the line “I got that boom…” is certainly the same.  My guess would be that Pheonix Phenom would be able to show that the Black Eyed Peas had exposure to the song because she brought it to their record label, which is quite often what it comes down to in a plagiarism suit.  And because she would have a good case, the Peas and their record label would be forced to settle.

It’s never worth copying anything…even if it was unintentional, you would think that someone would have picked up on it somewhere down the pike.

Update Oct.30/2010 – Another plagiarism suit against the Black Eyed Peas.  This time it’s from Bryan Pringle, whose song “Take A Dive” was submitted to the same record company, Interscope Records, and shows a copyright date of 1998.  I’m thinking that maybe this has been a pattern with the label, just use old songs that were submitted and make them into hits.  Read more here…

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