Why is it that every time a song or band reaches multiplatinum status, a slew of detractors screaming “foul play” comes out of the woodwork? Last week, The Orange County Register reported that two lawsuits were filed against the Black Eyed Peas. The allegations? That the Peas copied two songs from demos submitted to their record label, Interscope. The lawsuits were filed in Los Angeles and Santa Ana federal courts.
The Santa Ana suit says the Peas copied a song written by Texas songwriter Bryan Pringle titled “Take a Dive” and turned it into the Grammy Award-winning “I Gotta Feeling.” The second lawsuit is a refiling of a Chicago lawsuit in which Ebony Latrice Batts, a.k.a. Phoenix Phenom, and producer Manfred Mohr allege the band copied their song “Boom Dynamite” and presented it as “Boom Boom Pow.” The suits are seeking damages and shares of the profits from the two songs, plus future credits and royalty payments. We couldn’t find “Take a Dive” online, but “Boom Dynamite” sounds nothing like the polished, über-produced, catchy “Boom Boom Pow.” From an Oct. 29 Heard Mentality post.
ANTOINE DODSON, STILL NOT OLD
The inadvertent YouTube star is still at it: Antoine Dodson is now an endorser for the Sex Offender Tracker app. That’s on top of his best-selling Halloween costume (made for dogs and humans!), the beverage West Hollywood’s Millions of Milkshakes named after him, an appearance at the BET awards and his iTunes chart-topper. With the Sex Offender Tracker, he’s hoping to be a spokesperson against assault in the black community.
In an interview with the Root, Dodson seemed so much smarter and together than anything we’ve seen online. And maybe that’s why he’s so lovable. “I feel that if I keep performing [the “Bed Intruder Song”], it will keep the situation fresh,” he said. “It won’t die down. People really need to stop and think before they make these crazy comments and these dumb opinions. I’m not trying to make this into a joke. If y’all can make the video viral, then you can make the message viral.”
It’s a noble endeavor, especially when you realize Dodson not only parlayed his instafame into helping his family, but his endorsements also contribute to charity: 5 percent of the proceeds from sales of the app go to RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual-assault organization. From an Oct. 28 post.
JUSTIN BIEBER UNAUTHORIZED
As expected, the Justin Bieber concert at Honda Center was full of prepubescent girls and their mothers. Also as expected, the bio-comic Fame: Justin Bieber Unauthorized sucked.
It’s universally agreed upon among critics that there’s nothing easier—and, in most cases, more fun—than writing a negative review. But sometimes when a critic encounters the proverbial steaming turd, he can’t help but feel sad for everyone involved. He can’t imagine that any creative individual would intentionally set out to make something so inferior and so banal. This is how I felt after reading Bluewater Comics’ unauthorized bio-comic.
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My first reaction was “What did I expect?” There’s no fun in criticizing a work for not being the print equivalent of Raging Bull. Bluewater Comics has been making a name for itself as a publisher of hastily thrown-together unauthorized biographies of celebrities such as Kristen Stewart, Betty White, Sarah Palin, David Beckham, Taylor Lautner and teen idol Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. All the bio-comic’s creators intended to do was please the lowest common denominator—Bieber fans—in the most efficient, cost-effective way possible.
But the comic does have its moments when it tries to portray Bieber’s life as being as crazy as a pair of 10-pound balls on a 2-pound lady titmouse. But the majority of the comic trudges along blandly. From an Oct. 27 post by Joe Vince.
This column appeared in print as "Suit Filed Against Black Eyed Peas."