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It Seems The Entire World Is Out To Cancel Olivia Rodrigo For Plagiarism. Can Everybody Please Fucking Relax?

Kevin did a nice job yesterday of summing this situation up on his One Minute Man segment. But if you need an even quicker refresher, here's the gist-

Who is Olivia Rodrigo?

Whether you want to admit it or not, she's one of the biggest music stars in the world right now. She came on the scene via Disney's "High School Musical" Musical TV show (a show about a show inside of a movie, I think that makes sense?) Anyway she is the real deal. Her voice is unbelievable and as much as I thought (and kind of hoped) she was going to be a one-hit wonder with "Driver's License" - a song that stayed atop the Billboard Hot 100 for close to 4 months straight during the pandemic - she is not. 

In all honesty, her follow up, and one of my favorite songs of the past year, "good 4 u" is an absolute banger. 

I get major "Kelly Clarkson - Since U Been Gone" vibes from this song. And that's a very good thing.

If I was a pissed-off chick this would be my anthem.

She's also got another smash that's simultaneously in the Top 10, "Deja Vu".

So yah, she's legit and a name we will probably be hearing for a long long time. 

(sidebar- Disney Music is a fucking juggernaut. Anybody they anoint is destined for greatness. Talk about the magic touch, it's insane: Vanessa Hudgens, Zendaya, The Jonas Brothers, Hilary Duff, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, and Miley Cyrus. Unreal)

Anyway, Olivia is the new bad bitch on the block. She's also only 18.

Rewind to last week. 

Eternal curmudgeon Courtney Love took a shot at Rodrigo when she posted a promo photo of Olivia Rodrigo with flowers, a tiara, and makeup streaming down her cheeks with the caption "Spot the Difference! #twinning!” 

It’s a photo reminiscent of Love's band Hole's 1994 Live Through This album cover, 

and while the Instagram seemed friendly enough, the comments that followed suggested that Love was less than flattered. Love went on to vent on her Facebook (like a true psycho), in several replies to peoples' comments: 

“it was rude of her, and [Rodrigo’s label] geffen not to ask myself or [Live Through This photographer] Ellen von unwerth,” she wrote. “It’s happened my whole career so I d c. But manners is manners!”

“I’ve informed her I await her flowers and note. I sure hope it’s long. Does Disney teach kids reading and writing ? God knows. Let’s see.” She continued: “Stealing an original idea and not asking permission is rude. There’s no way to be elegant about it. I’m not angry. It happens all the time to me. But this was bad form. That’s not bullying or bomb throwing. This persons music has nothing to do with my life. Possibly never will. It was rude And I gave every right to stick up for my work. Don’t gatekeep me! I’m honorable as fuck to my fellow artists, and I expect the same.”

Here's the deal, Courtney Love is sitting here acting like she invented the whole "devastated, pissed off prom-queen" thing. When it's been pretty ingrained in American pop-culture since the movie Carrie.

So take a lap, bitch.

Next up were the fucking losers that scour the internet their entire lives with a fine-tooth comb in hopes of finding things they can drum up outrage over. 

Well they thought they hit the jackpot when they discovered that Rodrigo's song "Brutal" sounds very similar to Elvis Costello’s 1978 hit “Pump It Up”.

Somebody even mashed the two up so you can hear the similarities even better.

These pathetic sycophants were actually blowing up the king Elvis Costello's twitter like they were in 2nd grade tattling to the teacher to earn brownie points. 

@Billyedwards made his tweets private like a pussy once people started blowing him up. 

If you've learned nothing from the Sunday Night Samples blog I have been writing the past year, the big giant take away is that artists borrow from other artists. Officially and unofficially. 

(sidebar- if you're interested in how deep it goes in all forms of creative, one of my favorite books I've read is "Steal Like An Artist" Highly recommend. Might have to go on Michael Angelo and my upcoming book club)

Costello's tweet was alluding to the fact that "Pump It Up" was actually inspired by Bob Dylan's famous 1965 hit, “Subterranean Homesick Blues,”

WHICH WAS ALSO INSPIRED BY ANOTHER SONG. Chuck Berry's 1956 track “Too Much Monkey Business.”

(sidebar- as anybody that regularly reads my stuff knows, Mike Rowe is one of my idols. He did a podcast on Jon Stewart and in the epilogue segment he described a run in he had with a bartender and a deep discussion they had about Bob Dylan.

It's true Bob Dylan lied his way through countless press conferences, he swiped melodies, arrangements and lyrics from friends and forebears alike. His own memoir contains multiple lines lifted from various sources. And his Nobel Prize lecture in twenty seventeen contained 20 passages pilfered from the Sparks notes summary of Moby Dick. Even the quote I've just attributed to him is another way of saying honor among thieves. That concept was first discussed in Plato's Republic, then by Shakespeare and Henry the Fourth, and then in every movie ever made about the mob and the importance of not being a rat.

Upon hearing this I read as much as I could find to back this up and low and behold it turns out that Bob Dylan has been using other people's works liberally for decades. He's not secretive or shy about it so I don't think anybody has ever cared.)

In summation, get a life, people. Let Olivia Rodrigo live.