Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

Op-Ed: Gaga's avant-gardism keeps rhyming with plagiarism

By Jose Neves     Mar 5, 2011 in Entertainment
Undeniably, Lady Gaga is talented. But each of her hits and her producer called Red One, became FAMOUS (title of a previous album) also through plagiarism controversies. Are they paying tribute to her icons or playing all of them at once?
The last controversy comes with the release (February 28) of the video of the first single, Born This Way, promoting her eponymous album set to be released on May 23. Not only has the song been accused of copying Madonna's hit, Express Yourself, but the video in itself presents an undeniable rip-off from an unknown series, The Multinauts, for the visuals (at least for the long sci-fi intro) and for the story line. Gaga's auto-declared avant-gardism keeps rhyming with plagiarism. Here is a little perspective on the phenomenon.
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, better known by her stage name Lady Gaga, is an American pop singer-songwriter. Her name already sounds like a Medley: Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta.
Nadir Khayat, known by the stage name RedOne was born in Tétouan, Morocco and is a Grammy Award-nominated Moroccan/Swedish producer/songwriter. He has been described as the key to Lady Gaga's musical sound. He went to Sweden inspired by ABBA, Europe and Roxette. Among others he worked with Arlin, Mylene Farmer and Kylie Minogue.
- Poker Face stands on Ma Baker's chorus gimmick (Ma-ma-ma-ma ♫), a song from Boney M.
- For Bad Romance, the music borrows from another Boney M chorus (Ra-ra-ra ♫, Rasputin)
-Just Dance sounds lean towards DJ Tiesto trance and Kylie Minogue. Red One gave the same tune for Darin's Girl Next Door, that's the 2 for 1 (Dollar store) special.
-The single Born this Way should acknowledge the bits and pieces of its predecessors from Carl Bean's eponymous title in 1978 (for Motown) to Madonna's Express Yourself as well as Magnus Carlsson in 2003, Mylene Farmer's Libertine and David Guetta's When Love Takes Over. It's crowded with uncredited musical references. The sound is updated alright, borrowing from electro, euro-dance, techno and trance.
Anyone mentioned it was a cover? No! If you don't credit your references, then it's plagiarism. Someone from her team should take care of that before the album hits the racks and other digital distributors. Otherwise, copyright law suits might hit the lady before the tracks hit the charts.
The official video is an obvious duplicate from The Multinauts series, then filled with the usual Madonna-Britney-Aguilera looks and dance moves. For the original content, some hybrid looking E.T.s, here is a savoury detail from NME: It was reported that her entourage hit a New York transsexual party looking for possible screen stars.
Very innovative, Gaga borrows a little bit from Bowie-Blondie and a lot from Madonna-Britney-Aguilera. This link shows the copycat parallels. She's more of a revivalist fashionista than a trend-setter. At least she has the guts to adorn such extravaganza.
Go for the masses by applying the successful recipe elaborated by Madonna. Use sex appeal to lure straight guys and lesbians, insert some feminist lyrics to please the female crowd, don't forget to a few cheesy songs for daddy, mom and desperate singles, gay beats for the rainbow market, drag looks for glam and shock and please transvestites, transsexuals and their supporters by the same way. Make a stand, sincere or not (?), by taking some mainstream "look good" political positions. Gaga supports gay marriage.Use your image for fashion, let designers come to you and dress you up for free and make you a fashion icon.
Gaga, the Grammie of the 21st century...YES, GAGA DESERVES A BUNCH OF GRANNIE'S AWARDS, for being THE CLONE OF THE POP CLONES. Don' t be a Drag, be a Queen (ref to Born this Way), don't be a queen, be a clone. HAIL THE CLONE OF POP! Any of her Muses were already copying the emerging trends of their time, Bowie & Madonna just collected (desperately) the trendiest fashions of the underground to stay up to date. Jean-Paul Gauthier admitted coming up with many of his styles, sitting at a coffee terrace in Les Halles (Paris), by watching trend-setters and night clubbers pass by .
The same goes in pop music. Stealing, copying, plagiarism are no surprise, don't expect anything original, it originates from a copy-paste culture. Originality is the rarest resource in Pop music. Look at it as a vulgarisation of the emerging movements by stealing their catchiest sounds and looks. Then bury the originators and let them push daisies by stepping on their work while branding yourself as the revolutionary ICON OF THE POP with a clamorous propaganda machine.
It's SHMATTA business as usual. Copies of already popular copies will sell well, with no risks taken. Don't EXPRESS YOURSELF. JUST BRAND YOURSELF as THE Genius, the creative force in motion with borrowed musical e-motions. The copied ones might disappear under the bulldozers of the mainstream machine, Shalaka-laka BOOM! That's why I'd like to spend a night with Gaga, because I would be in bed with: ABBA, Roxette, Madonna, Britney, Aguilera, Boney M, Kylie Minogue, Mylene Farmer, JPG, Bowie, Debbie Harry, etc. What a Pop orgy!!!
Since POP is not rocket science, maybe this shouldn't be taken so seriously. It's entertainment. Enjoy yourself and shake "yo' booty"! It would be even more enjoyable if the "auteurs" could let go their inflated ego and admit their influences instead of pretending reinventing the wheel. It wouldn't hurt, and it wouldn't stop their lucrative wheel of fortune. By sharing the credits they would have to share some of their profits. Is it too much to ask? Express yourself means be true to yourself and true to the others. If you weren't born this way, Lady, try to reborn that way. It doesn't matter if you like fun or capital F.U.N. (reference to the song), just have FUN! And now, let's go back to the dance floor, get this pulse alive and pumping, shake some dusty booty, and be bootyful on the dance floor under the strobes and the polarized disco moonlights, Ah-Wooo!
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Redone, Lady Gaga, Born this way, Pop, Clone
More news from
Entertainment Video
Latest News
Top News