So, I'm currently caught on the fence.
The latest story running around the Korean Pop scene is the plagiarism claim that Sony is making against YG Entertainment involving songs by G-Dragon and 2NE1. Now, I'm a big fan of both Big Bang and 2NE1. I like their songs, style, dance, etc. But I'm also a writer. And plagiarism is similar to stabbing a writer in the heart.
One could argue that the songs don't sound that much alike... but the truth is, they do. I'm no music expert, but even I can't deny that there are substantial similarities between some of the original songs and the re-makes. (Though I am of the opinion that most of the re-makes sound better than the originals.)
And YG Entertainment is claiming that with 2NE1's song "I Don't Care" they didn't really know about the Lionel Richie song because he's not popular in Korea. (Which I could almost believe, seeing as I'm American and even I hadn't heard of his song.) G-Dragon is staying silent, which is probably the smartest thing for him to do if he wants to keep his job and his fans.
All in all, it's a bit disappointing. Big Bang and 2NE1 have had a number of hits from their original stuff, and I don't know why their producers would feel the need to borrow melodies from popular American artists. Both have made a name in Korea for being different, and this just kind of goes against that.
But, in the case of G-Dragon, even though he wrote two of the reportedly plagiarized songs, I have to admit that I don't think he is the only one to blame. Wasn't there someone there to tell him, "Ah, maybe you shouldn’t copy that song..." or "Hmm, that sounds an awful lot like Flo Rida or Oasis..."? I'm most certainly not saying that he isn't at fault, but I don't think he should shoulder all the blame. Though from the reports I've seen, what YG and G-Dragon need right now are good PR people to spin this thing in a way that won't send his career to the grave. And to learn from this incident. If they want to use the melody from another song... BUY IT. Suck it up and pay the royalties. Or better yet, DON'T USE IT. Write your own stuff. So, maybe the public may not like it at first, but if you keep trying, eventually you'll grow as a writer and become better.
And in the end, I have to admit that I won't stop listening to either group or G-Dragon because of the allegations. It's kind of like college football. Even if your team is losing, you still support them through the bad times and the good. So, even though YG is losing right now, I'm still a fan.
Here are the songs in question for you to make your own decision...
Plagiarism One- Lionel Richie's "Just Go" and 2NE1's "I Don't Care"
Lionel Richie- Just Go
2NE1- I Don't Care
Plagiarism Two- Flo Rida's "Right Round" and G-Dragon's "Heartbreaker"
Flo Rida- Right Round
Plagiarism Three- Oasis "She's Electric" and G-Dragon's "Butterfly"
Oasis- She's Electric
Plagiarism Four- Joe's "Ride Wit U" and Big Bang's "With U" (released in Japan)
Joe- Ride Wit U
Big Bang- With U