Johnny Depp and Jeff Beck launched a musical album collectively referred to as 18 in July, however now they’re going through a significant accusation.
The 2 are accused of plagiarism, as Rolling Stone reported that lyrics from their tune “Unhappy Motherf***in’ Parade” are straight lifted from a poem written by an incarcerated man named Slim Wilson.
The textual content that they’re accused of copying is a “toast” referred to as “Hobo Ben.” Based on The Guardian, a “toast” is a type of “Black folks poetry, akin to hobo balladry.”
Depp and Beck’s tune copies a number of traces from the poem, like one that features the tune’s title, “[Y]ou higher attempt to maintain you ass on this nook of shade/’trigger if the Man come you make a tragic motherf***in’ parade.”
One part of “Hobo Ben” is as follows: “I’m raggedy I do know, however I’ve no stink/And God bless the woman that’ll purchase me a drink./Heavy-hipted Hattie turned to Nadine with fun/And mentioned, ‘What that funky motherf***er actually need, baby, is a shower.’”
As compared, “Unhappy Motherf***in’ Parade” has lyrics which might be nearly word-for-word the identical, just like the traces, “I am raggedy, I do know, however I’ve no stink,” “God bless a woman that’ll purchase me a drink,” and “What that funky motherf***er actually wants, baby, is a shower.”
“Hobo Ben” and different poems and songs by Wilson have been recorded by a folklorist scholar named Bruce Jackson, who met Wilson within the Missouri State Penitentiary within the Nineteen Sixties.
The recordings have been collected and revealed in Jackson’s 1974 guide, Get Your A** within the Water and Swim Like Me. Two years later, Wilson carried out his works as songs on an album of the identical identify.
Jackson spoke with Rolling Stone concerning the plagiarism, saying, “The one two traces I may discover in the entire piece that [Depp and Beck] contributed are ‘Huge time motherf***er’ and ‘Bust it all the way down to my degree.’”
(scroll to maintain studying)
He continued, “The whole lot else is from Slim’s efficiency in my guide. I’ve by no means encountered something like this. I’ve been publishing stuff for 50 years, and that is the primary time anyone has simply ripped one thing off and put his personal identify on it.”
Jackson has a son named Michael Lee Jackson who works as a lawyer on circumstances that contain mental property resembling this.
He informed Rolling Stone, “It’s simply not believable, for my part, that Johnny Depp or anyone else may have sat down and crafted these lyrics with out nearly wholly taking them from some model of my father’s recording and/or guide the place they appeared.”
Depp and Beck’s album, 18, solely credit the 2 because the songwriters on the monitor “Unhappy Motherf***in’ Parade.”
Jackson and his son are reportedly contemplating authorized choices, hoping to discover a option to credit score the right authors of the tune.
As a result of “Hobo Ben” and different poems by Wilson have been typically carried out orally and doubtless aren’t recorded anyplace apart from Jackson’s guide, he’s seemingly the creator of the poem in response to U.S. copyright legislation.
Concerning what he hopes to occur on this scenario, Jackson was clear in his response: “If [the album] is promoting, Johnny Depp is making some huge cash on it. Ought to it go to him, or ought to it go to some place that helps the individuals who produced this tradition?”
Neither Depp nor Beck have publicly responded to the accusations.