Vhahangwele Nemakonde
Digital Journalist
2 minute read
15 Oct 2015
2:58 pm

Jukebox Thursday: Songs that sound suspiciously similar

Vhahangwele Nemakonde

The music industry, much like any other creative industry, has been plagued by rumours of one artist copying another artist's work, or artists' work just being similar. Artist Pablo Picasso once said, good artists copy and great artists steal.

The industry has had a number of cases where artists sue each other, arguing that the other artist has stolen their ideas or a beat, or an element in their music. Some have won the cases while some could not prove that their ideas were stolen.

In music, the album cover has proven to be of importance, this however, has opened doors for similarities, with some not so much, and others too blatant.

You might remember L’vovo’s album The Heavyweight which landed him in trouble with Universal Music for the resemblance to Jay Z’s American Gangster cover.

Also, in the past few weeks, Black Coffee released the artwork for his fifth studio album on Instagram, only to come under fire for its likeness to American RnB singer Ledisi’s 2011 release.

The album artwork not only bares many similarities but has the exact same album name, Pieces Of Me, prompting an uproar among fans on social media. Though many have refuted the fact this is a mere coincidence, Maphumulo upheld his innocence in the matter.

In this week’s edition of Jukebox Thursday, we focus on songs that have similar elements.

  1. Howza’s Styla Samahala has an identical beat to American artist Musiq Soulchild’s Make You Happy


2. HHP’s Tswaka borrows an interpolation, vocal melody and lyrics from Tupac’s I Get Around


3. Kabelo Mabalane translates Jay Z’s rhymes from The Ruler’s Back on Amasoja

On the first verse of The Ruler’s Back – a nod to rap legend Slick Rick – Jay Z (aka J-Hova) raps : “Hov don’t run, Hov [stands] and fights/ Hov’s a soldier, Hov’s been fighting all his life/ What could you do to me…But you will respect me,”

On the hook of Amasoja – a collaboration between Kabelo (aka Bouga Luv), Brown Dash and Mzekezeke – Mabalane raps in Zulu : “uBouga aka baleki, uBouga uyama uyalwa, uBouga yiSotsha, futhi uBouga k’dala alwa…uzong’tshelani, ok’salayo uzong’hlonipha.”

Translated Kabelo’s chorus goes thus: “Bouga doesn’t run, Bouga stands and fights, Bouga is a soldier plus Bouga’s been fighting for a long time/ What can you tell me…you will ultimately respect me,”

4. Alicia Keys’ Unthinkable has the same chords as Goapele’s Closer


5. Beyonce’s Rocket sounds and looks a lot like D’Angelo’s Untitled (How Does it Feel)