If you were around in 2000, you know how big of a hit 3LW’s “Playas Gon’ Play” was. The writers behind the song, Sean Hall and Nathan Butler, filed a copyright lawsuit against Taylor Swift in 2017 claiming the singer stole their lyrics for her 2014 single “Shake It Off.” A judge initially dismissed the suit in 2018 stating that the lyrics were “too banal” to be stolen.
However, an appeal panel brought the case back in 2019. That judge said the songs had “enough objective similarities.”
On Monday, Swift insisted that the lyrics “were written entirely by me.” Her defense? “Until learning about Plaintiffs’ claim in 2017, I had never heard the song ‘Playas Gon’ Play’ and had never heard of that song or the group 3LW,” Swift stated in the court filling.
Hall and Butler allege that the chorus for “Shake It Off” (“Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play/And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate”) infringed on “Playas Gon’ Play,” (“The playas gon’ play/Them haters gonna hate” and “Playas, they gonna play/And haters, they gonna hate.”)
In addition, Swift said her parents wouldn’t let her watch MTV’s “Total Request Live” until she was around 13 years old. The song was on 3LW’s self-titled album when she was 10. You mean to tell me she never saw the video at a friend’s house, heard it on the radio or even heard it as a grown ass woman anytime before 2014?
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“I do not recall listening to any specific radio stations during that time, but when I listened to radio it was generally country music. I did not watch the MTV show ‘TRL,’ and I did not go to clubs during this time,” Swift explained.
“The lyrics to ‘Shake It Off ‘also draw from commonly used phrases and comments heard throughout my life. Prior to writing ‘Shake It Off’ I had heard the phrases ‘players gonna play’ and ‘haters gonna hate’ uttered countless times.”
It could be a pure coincidence, but the music industry seems way too small for that to be the case.