Is it true that our gleeful anthem for moving on is actually a rip-off? Taylor Swift’s hit song “Shake It Off,” released in 2014, is claimed to be a plagiarized version of R&B artist Jesse Graham’s 2013 song “Haters Gonna Hate.” “Her hook is the same hook as mine,” he says. “If I didn’t write the song ‘Haters Gone Hate,’ there wouldn’t be a song called ‘Shake It Off.’” So now, he is suing Taylor for $42M over a case of copied lyrics.
The chorus of Taytay’s debut song for her album 1989 goes “Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play / And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.” This is the very line the R&B singer claims to bear a striking resemblance to his song, which goes “Haters gone hate, playas gone play / Watch out for them fakers, they’ll fake you everyday.”
Other than the said lyrics, no other striking resemblance is found between the two tracks.
The musician reached out to Sony and Taylor’s record label Big Machine regarding the issue at hand. He demanded to be credited as the writer of the song and had asked for permission to take a selfie with the “Bad Blood” singer.
When his requests were denied, he decided to press charges. “At first I was going to let it go, but this song is my song all the way,” he said.
Listen to “Haters Gonna Hate” and judge for yourself.
Photo courtesy of MTV