On their new joint album, 18, Johnny Depp and Jeff Beck are accused of stealing a tune from an inmate. According to reports, the words to the duo’s new song “Sad Motherfuckin’ Parade” were taken from “Hobo Ben,” an old toast or black folk poetry written by the late gambler, pimp, outlaw, and killer Slim Wilson. Stone Rolling Report. Wilson met folklorist Bruce Jackson in 1964 while he was serving time for armed robbery at the Missouri State Penitentiary. Jackson illustrated Wilson’s work in his 1974 book about Toast. Swim like me and the 1976 album of the same name.
“Hobo Ben” contains harsh phrases such as “Ladies of culture and beauty, so refined, will any of you give me wine? / Will any of you give me wine?” “I know, but I don’t smell / And heaven bless the woman who buys me a drink” And “Huttie laughed and added to Nadine, ‘What that funkadelic motherfucker truly needs, sweetie, is a wash,'” Many of these lines are repeated precisely in “Sad Motherfuckin’ Parade,” including “I’m raggedy, I know, but I don’t stink / God bless a woman who’ll buy me a drink.” And “What that slovenly slob truly requires, sweetie, is a bath.” However, the song is exclusively credited to Depp and Beck, with no mention of Wilson, Jackson, or get your *** in the water and swim like me.
“The only two lines that [Depp and Beck] contributed to the entire work were ‘Big Time Motherfucker’ and ‘Bust It Down to My Level,'” Jackson told Rolling Stone, “In my opinion, everything else is down to Slim’s performance. I’ve never seen anything like it. This is the first time in fifty years of publication that someone has shattered something and put their name on it.” Is. ” Jeff Beck and Johnny Depp’s ‘Sad Motherfucking’ Parade can be heard here. Jackson’s son, Michael Lee Jackson, a lawyer who specializes in music and intellectual property, told the magazine, “In my opinion, it is not plausible that Johnny Depp or anyone else would sit down and play those songs almost entirely. from my father’s recording and/or a version of the book in which he appeared.” He stated that he and his father were investigating their legal options, but had not yet filed a lawsuit or sent a letter.
Even if the lyrics to “Sad Motherfucking Parade” appear to be taken directly from “Hobo Ben,” a lawsuit based on Toast’s unclear origins and authorship would not be a slam dunk. Wilson stated he learned “Hobo Ben” from his father, as such stories are typically passed down orally through the generations. Not the specificity of words, but the types of things that alter [in other toasts]”Jackson told Rolling Stone, “It’s just part of the genre, like a blues musician doing a certain kind of crack.” Kevin Jay Green, a lawyer and law professor who has conducted substantial research on black music and copyright law, told the publication that “determination theory” needs compositions to be written or recorded in order to be copyrighted. Over the years, this necessity has led to the exploitation and theft of the work of several black artists.
Jackson may be able to claim “Hobo Ben” because he owns the copyright on the recorded transcript of the toast. get your ass in the water and swim like me, Green noted that he may do this as a courtesy and say, “I know it came from this tradition, so I’m only claiming the copyright in my particular work.” “However, he has essentially registration rights against all competitors for that position,” Jackson is less concerned about his work being stolen than he is with Wilson receiving proper credit. Rolling Stone: “I don’t know if this record is selling” (This: 18 183 on the Billboard 200.) “I’ve seen album reviews that I would be too ashamed to receive if they were about my album. However, if it is selling well, Johnny Depp is making a lot of money from it. Should it go to them, or to an organization that assists the individuals who established this culture?”