PHOTOS: Lady Plagarism – in Defense of Grace Jones

Apr 20, 2010 · 1985 views

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This is going to look ranty, I realize, but I’d rather make a coherent argument, so bare with me. I think the problem a lot of people have with Gaga is praise of her seems […]


    • I fixed it into an image gallery- nice work!

      On Gaga, I think what may be going on here is that her label is making coin on the efforts of all these great people, but on the other hand, what do you want Gaga (and all musicians) to do, put foot notes “this MAY resemble something or someone you’ve seen in the past, and so I want to take time out to thank them.”

      It could get a bit ridiculous. There are copyright laws that are meant to address these things, but nobody is stopping them from innovating or releasing their music and building their own music and fashion empire.

  1. Roblex says:

    I know what you’re talking about, but for the past 80…yes, 80…years, it’s all been about selling yourself to the public whether you have so-called “real talent” or not. You know there are people singing in bars right now who definitely excel in talent than anyone on American Idol! It’s all about selling…and, maybe, just maybe… an excellence of talent.

    It’s always been a business, and that’s the way it is. I guess it’s up to the discerning public to make the final dicision…that means $$$$. Even Mozart knew that! LOL LOL

  2. Chad Taylor says:

    I think your argument is flawed. Whether or nor you think gaga is talented aside. She has sold herself to the public. People are buying her music because they like it, they are dancing to her music for the same reasons. To say she copies from lesser known contemporaries is also flawed. Maybe she does, however did you do research into those contemporaries to see if maybe they copied their look from someone else? In this day and age, pretty much everything has be reworked and rehashed. To find an truly original idea, song or work is rare if not practically non-existent. I don’t believe she is original, but she is good. She works with what she has and sells it to the masses.

    The masses are buying what she is selling them. If she was truly coping someone she would most likely be in court defending herself from those accusations. That she is not, seems to imply that her contemporaries don’t view her as such or they don’t care.

    It always seems to myself, that whenever someone achieves and amount of fame that someone else doesn’t believe they deserve, the accusations start to fly. It comes off, to me, that these are generally from someone who is a fan of another’s work that they think is similar to the person who is getting all the attention. I believe that this is just a form of jealously, as they on some level resent what this newcomer was able to achieve that their object of affection was unable to achieve or unable to achieve to the degree the newcomer has.

    Music, Movies and Television as well as other art forms are all battles for the publics affection. It seems easy for people to get it momentarily, Hince the saying 15 minutes of fame, but how long they are able to hold the affection is the what separates the true innovators from the fads.

  3. Selling is such an ugly word. I think “outreach” is better. They can’t love you if they don’t know about you. It’s your job to create great things but also if you want to, figure out how to put them in your audience’s interest.

    It’s not enough to create great works of music, writing, art. You have to learn how to find the audience to connect with.

  4. I’m just glad that there is more room on the world stage for weird people and peacocks. Perhaps Gaga is a sign that we are coming out of the dark ages as a country – after 9-11, our culture went way more Stepford and probably would not have accepted or welcomed a pop star with an alter ego of a lesbionic serial killer with telephone shaped hair extensions into our living rooms, ipods or our hearts. Gaga is criticized for ripping of other peoples’ images, but nobody criticizes boring people for copying other boring people. And even if she is a puppet rock star, at least perhaps she is PICKING these talented designers, stylists, choreographers and other creatives to help make an image for herself. And if she’s not personally picking them, at least she is smart enough to create a hype and some money to employ these designers and their off-kilter, wacky eccentric visions. There are a lots of ways to be creative.

  5. webby686 says:

    none of these bitches design their own clothes, they all use other designers and have a whole team of gays styling them, so of course they will look alike.

    but my issue with gaga is that she gets way too much credit with phrases like “performance artist” when her music is no different from britney or ke$ha (would everyone be queefing over ‘telephone’ if britney did it, for whom it was written?). all three artists mac vacuous dance music about being drunk at a club, which is fine (i love pop music) but don’t take yourself so seriously and sell yourself as some groundbreaking artiste (that’s why i lfind ‘blackout’ britney so intriguing- she just doesn’t care anymore and her music is the complete dark, twisted train wreck piece of trash her life has become). gaga can write great pop music and great memorable hooks. but is she really that original sonically or lyrically? compared to tracks by Roisin Murphy like “ramalama (bang bang)”, “overpowered” or “primitive”, who feels more authentic? and although M.I.A. lifts lyrics from Modern Lovers and The Pixies and samples the Clash and Bollywood musicals, the way she combined these variant cultural references in her own voice made Kala one of the greatest albums of the naughties.

    “I cannot text you with a drink in my hand, eh” “where are my keys? of lost my phone, phone” “just dance, gonna be ok da da doo doo mmm” “cause im bluffin with my muffin, im just stunning with my love-glue-gunning” “whats the name of this club? i can’t remember” “eh eh eh eh eh eh stop telephoning me eh eh eh eh eh” “let’s have some fun this beat is sick, i wanna take a ride on your disco stick” ………

    OUCH my brain hurts from typing that.. wtf is that shit? isnt that proof enough that this girl gets waaaay too much credit? it’s very smart product developed and market to gay men. i wouldnt really say “art”.

  6. Mind you, all this discussion is over music we aren’t allowed to play on the podcast.

  7. Andy says:

    I agree with Barret and webby686.
    She is not that innovative and creative and does get way too much credit.


    There so much being said here. But I suppose the easiest thing to point out is that Lady Gaga has never claimed to be completely unique. She herself has said that she is a “monster”, a conglomerate of the many variety of artists and pop culture references dating back to the 20’s.

    In a September issue, i believe, of OUT magazine, “…If glamour and vanity and music are the sparks that animate Gaga, she relies on a vast reference library to give herself a body. She regularly plunders her predecessors, finding time in her whirlwind schedule to make stops at museums. The ’80s synthesizers of The Fame are just part of Lady Gaga; she herself is synthesis. She’s been compared to and compares herself to Christina Aguilera (who thought she was a tranny), Madonna, Debbie Harry, David Bowie, and Grace Jones, but her reading list is more Patti Smith (Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet is one of Gaga’s favorite books) and her frank sex talk is straight out of blueswoman Bessie Smith’s 1920s catalog. ‘I need a little hot dog on my roll’ isn’t so different from ‘I’m bluffin’ with my muffin.’ ” (I attached the link to the rest of the article)

    I guess my point is why argue about whether or not she is stealing from other artists when it’s been clearly publicized that she purposefully is.

  9. EricM says:

    I love this!!! I thought I was the only one who thought Lady Gaga was a waste of electrons. Yippee!

  10. After I read this, I saw an interview on the Jonathan Ross show, where she says that her living dress look was inspired by Hussein Chalayan
    I don’t think she is mis-representing her originality here.

  11. I totally agree with this. I like lots of pop music, but Lady Gaga isn’t even very good pop music. It’s all about her image and performance. Visual stuff which is all very interesting and I’d buy it if that was reflected in her music. Her music is just boring. Which to me says she’s very interesting on the outside, but not very interesting on the inside (or at least her inside isn’t in the music).

    Every musician and performer is influenced by someone else, but they also add their own spin to it. Lady Gaga adds nothing new. All she is is a remixer.

  12. My biggest problem with Lady Gaga is that she’s herald as this pioneer or Messiah of pop when her music is a generic as all the other dance pop out there. I appreciate her love for the gays and all but you know she’s milking us for all we’re worth at the same time. Roisin Murphy or Fever ray are for more avant garde risk taker than Gaga.

  13. Rodney says:

    okay, so, popular opinion isn’t always the best. lady gaga isnt very original. however, it doesnt really seem warranted to criticize unless the “original” artists start protesting their shit being taken. i mean, until then, mad props to gaga… finders keepers, she’s made a hell of a career as an artist.

  14. j says:

    While I know this is a week old, I just found this and, well…

    First, I come not as some GaGa fanatic. I deeply appreciate what she’s doing as a whole, even if I think “Telephone” is a terrible song lyrically. I also speak from the perspective of a former hater. “Just Dance” did nothing for me initially and I thought she was a hermaphrodite who liked looking like a rodent covered in wigs and weird dresses. Further exploration turned me over and here I am. I also adore other performers in the same vein: Grace, Nina, Fever, Kelis, Manson.

    Second, the photo evidence of plagarism between Roisin and Gaga provided is flimsy at best. Similar, sure. Plagarism though, that’s a stretch (at least with the pics provided.) Roisin isn’t the only singer to don a red hood, funky eyewear or a patterned poncho (Hell, I could drag Peter Gabriel from his Genesis days into this, but I won’t.)

    I think detractors are so quick to turn inspiration into plagarism, and by most accounts it’s just lazy journalism. The only reason Fever Ray and Roisin Murphy aren’t getting their heads bitten off by the likes of Grace Jones and Nina Hagen is because they belong to a niche market. Their revolutions aren’t being broadcasted in the same capacity as GaGa’s and there’s certainly a resentment because of it, coming from people who think those artists “deserve” more. GaGa’s earned her mount as a universal commodity (I say earned because no matter how much the industry at large tries to beat something into our ears and jam it into our faces, most of us aren’t going to buy it if we don’t like it, as evidenced by the numerous other artists the record industry has tried to foist on us not to mention all those American Idol winners…) and thus can be more easily scrutinized for what she’s doing. Certainly her music isn’t for everyone and possesses a sugary coating that can be hard to digest for many seeking something more “deep” but I also wager those looking for depth to stop being hypercritical and examine the material AND the skill (yes, GaGa has skill too; not only has she been working as a song writer the bitch can work a piano like a consummate show woman to match an equally powerful voice) with a less biased ear and they might be surprised. Hell, I know I was.

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