The University of Maine student newspaper since 1875
Sunday, Oct. 4, 6:03 p.m.

Op-Ed: Thieving artist Ke$ha is ruining music

Ke$ha is the worst thing about the music industry. She embodies what’s wrong with popular music and stands against everything creative, original and artistic. She is a slap in the face to every artist that has ever tried to make anything unique. If this is where music is headed in the next decade, I am horrified.

If you’ve never heard of her, Ke$ha has been topping the charts and breaking iTunes download records with her hit singles, “Tik Tok” and “Blah Blah Blah.” Yes, there is an insufferable dollar sign in her name so that no one gets confused — she exists solely to make rich people even more money.

Ke$ha is unoriginal and mind-numbing. Her songs appeal to the lowest common denominator and are spoon-fed to the masses. Everything about her — appearance, musical style, demeanor — is a rip-off from some other artist.

The worst part however, is that her hit single “Tik Tok” is a blatant, copyright-infringing knock-off of a song written two years ago by the truly unique artists Uffie and Justice.

Let’s start with how she looks. She is a trying-too-hard Lady Gaga with gaudy make-up and clothes that could be found in any trashy party-girl’s closet. That would be forgivable if she didn’t have such a ditzy, self-deprecating attitude. She is a women’s studies major’s worst nightmare.

Watching any televised interview will make this pretty clear, but her attitude is reflected so eloquently on her MySpace page, it has to be included. All misspellings and grammatical errors have remained intact.

“I love south. and boys. and boots. and boners. and beer. and babes. balloons. barbeque sause. big balls. bonfires. babes. boobs. butts. bonnie rait. [fellatio]. BAD TATTOOS…….mmhmmm I sometimes wish I was a man…i would have the siickesT trash-stash….”

Also on her MySpace is a list of influences

a mile long, comprised of indie, electronica, ’80s giants and classic artists, many of whom are creative geniuses. How she calls Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones influences and makes the music she does is beyond me.

My biggest point of contention though, is that she got famous by copying somebody else’s work. When I first heard “Tik Tok,” I was positive it was a remix of “The Party” by female rapper Uffie and French electro duo Justice. When I found out that it was a completely different artist and song, I was appalled.

At the recommendation of my sister, I played the two songs simultaneously. Both choruses start at almost exactly the same time (roughly 0:35). Granted that both have simple pop structures and similar tempo, it’s still eerie when the songs are played together.

The worst part is the vocal delivery is identical. Uffie’s rapping was so unique and Ke$ha completely ripped it off. And to top it off, the lyrics are so similar. The two songs have the exact same theme and topic. Let’s look line for line, keeping in mind that both have the identical meter and syllables.

Uffie: “Let me tell you what I do when my day is over./After picking the right clothes for about an hour./Oooh, I’m turning orange from all the carats around my neck./Tonight, I’m takin’ out the bling and I’m dressed to impress.”

Ke$ha: “Wake up in the morning feeling like P Diddy/Grab my glasses, I’m out the door, I’m gonna hit this city/Before I leave, brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack/’Cause when I leave for the night, I ain’t coming back.”

The choruses are very similar as well. On top of that, Ke$ha’s chorus is dangerously close to Lady Gaga’s on “Just Dance” with both structure and theme.

Uffie: “Lets get this party started right/Let’s get drunk and freaky fly/You with me so its alright/We gonna stay up the whole night.”

Lady Gaga: “Just dance, gonna be okay/da da doo-doo-mmm/Just dance, spin that record babe/da da doo-doo-mmm.”

Ke$ha: “Don’t stop, make it pop/DJ, blow my speakers up/Tonight, I’mma fight/’Til we see the sunlight/Tick tock on the clock/But the party don’t stop, no.”

I find some solace in my belief that Ke$ha will leave as quickly as she came, but she still makes me cringe. Ke$ha did a parody of “The Party” and dumbed it down for the mainstream. I hope that there is some legal action taken against her for her copyright infringements; it is the only way Justice can be served.

Kegan Zema is the style editor for The Maine Campus.