Jennifer Lopez is under fire for allegedly stealing most of her biggest hits.
By the books, JLo is one of the most commercially famous musicians of our time. She has a lengthy list of famous hits, and for those of you questioning that I challenge you to fire up Spotify and confirm you’re not pretty (if not VERY) familiar with at least 10 of her songs.
Alright, so we’ve established she’s a bonafide recording artist, but how? That’s the point of contention. Lopez’s body of work is being questioned, and it’s caused a shit storm on the Internet.
A Twitter user by the name of @PallahAbdul has a bone to pick with the triple threat. They created a thread ripping apart the singer’s singles, but it’s not without merit. They provide receipts, and it’s undeniable that Jenny from the Bronx had a one-up on the way to the top over most rising musicians.
“There is not one JLO hit that isn’t a stolen song of another artists. Not ONE,” @PallahAbdul wrote. They point out multiple instances where this is seemingly the case.
Spoiler alert: if you like the illusion that is Jennifer Lopez™, stop reading now. Otherwise, carry on with this fascinating uncovering.
“If You Had My Love”
JLo’s first single, “If You Had My Love” was directly inspired by singer Chanté Moore’s song, “If I Gave Love.” Diddy, who played a pivotal role in creating Lopez’s debut album, requested Darkchild hand “If I Gave Love” over, but couldn’t due to previous agreements. Instead he created a carbon copy, and when Lopez’s version blew up Moore had no choice but to scrap hers.
Her debut single and first #1 hit was a song that r&b icon Chante Moore Had already recorded. Diddy asked darkchild to replicate it for Jlo despite Chante’s version already being out on her album. pic.twitter.com/hU2p5VGQKi
This one is a straight up cover by pop trio girl band 3rd Party featured on their 1996 album. Don’t know who they are? Yeah, you’re not supposed to.
“Let’s Get Loud”
I’m probably most upset about “Let’s Get Loud.” The track was originally created and recorded for Gloria Estefan’s album, but ultimately passed it on to JLo because she felt it was too similar to her previous songs. Estefan ended up sharing her version of the song as a bonus track on her 2011 album, Miss Little Havana.
Mariah Carey’s iconic phrase, “I don’t know her,” aimed at Lopez, appears to stem from drama surrounding stolen melodies in JLo’s song and remix for “I’m Real.” It is believed Carey’s ex-husband and head of Sony Music at the time, Tommy Mottola, secretly stole samples and melodies Mariah created for Glitter and gave them to Lopez, beating Mariah to the punch and blocking the elusive chanteuse from releasing her own material.
Adding insult to injury, R&B singer Ashanti presented JLo with a remix for the track using her own vocals, however the final version of the remix kept Ashanti’s voice intact with Lopez’s.
When it came down to the actual “I’m real” remix Ashanti recorded the demo and presented it to Jlo. Her vocals remained on the finalized version despite not being credited pic.twitter.com/zLalpcsiRq
Ditto for the “Ain’t It Funny” remix. Ashanti’s vocals, no credit.
The same happened in 2002 when Ashanti wrote and recorded the demo for Jlos “ain’t it funny remix” where Ashanti again only got writing credit instead of credit for her vocals pic.twitter.com/esNtAR7wkH
You really won’t like this one. Christina Milian wrote “Play” in about 15-minutes, and when Tommy Mottola heard it he wanted it for JLo. Cool, cool, except they didn’t even bother to include Lopez’s vocals on the iconic chorus. Yup, that’s entirely Christina Milian. Is that a crime? Alright then.
“Jenny From The Block”
No doubt “Jenny From The Block” was handcrafted for Lopez. A woman named Natasha Ramos sang the demo, but after her version leaked it was evident Ramos’ vocals are almost exclusively heard on the bridge and chorus on Lopez’s version. Ramos never received a credit.
The song also appears to steal a sample from The Beatnuts’ song “Watch Out” from their album, A Musical Massacre. They put JLo on blast for it at the time. “Anybody familiar with our music who heard Jenny From The Block knew it was a Beatnuts beat. There’s no getting around it. That’s a straight-up bite. It’s the same drums, the same flute, the same tempo… everything is our idea.”
That infectious beat on “Get Right” was originally created for Usher’s 2004 album, Confessions. Originally titled “Ride,” Usher co-wrote it with producer Rich Harrison, but it was ultimately scrapped and given to JLo without Usher’s permission. He said at the time, “I hate it, but I’d better get some of the publishing rights or else. I didn’t put it on my album because I couldn’t get it right. But I didn’t expect J.Lo to just take it.”
“On The Floor”
Kat Deluna co-wrote a song titled “Party O’Clock.” The song, produced by RedOne, debuted months before JLo released “On The Floor,” also produced by RedOne. Fans noticed similarities between the two, but when Lopez was asked about it she actually had no idea what they were referring to. I genuinely believe her, but that doesn’t justify it.
After a nice six year hiatus from the charts Jlo came back with her monster smash “On the floor” which happened to bear a lot of resemblance to Kat Delunas party o clock also produced by ReDone. Jlo was asked about it and said she had no idea pic.twitter.com/UUrmF8t1z0
In a curious turn of events, pop singer Bebe Rexha shared a sample of Lopez singing her song, “Self Control.” It’s not clear whether they had a remix in the works or if she passed it along to JLo at one point to record as a solo song. I’m betting on the latter, because I can’t imagine Bebe would scrap a remix with JLo if she had the opportunity. Lopez probably recorded Bebe’s demo word-for-word first but decided to pass.
This isn’t a Jennifer Lopez takedown post. But it’s fascinating that she has so many instances where a track is given to her, re-recorded, yet remains so close to the original. That’s obviously problematic when she’s making millions of dollars and creating ripples in the fabric of music, because that means those who helped her get there aren’t seeing a fraction of that financial gain or the notoriety (or even gd credit, for that matter).
PopCrush points out that this could be a matter of powerful men making “behind-the-scenes power moves to accomplish something that paid off for them in some way,” but I can’t chalk things up to that. Lopez has been and is still very much in control of her career, so to water down her success and hits in the biz to business men’s executive decisions feels irresponsible. If that’s true, she could care less where the hit comes from, as long as she gets it. Meaning, artistic integrity is nowhere to be found and she’s playing to grab a spot on the Hot 100. It’s a realization I’m not prepared to face quite yet. So if these men in suits aren’t to blame… does that mean JLo is the mastermind behind this facade? Then she’s responsible for cultural appropriation and sidelining a handful of talented black men and women for her benefit. No one wins here.
Another important question to ponder is: despite how the songs landed in JLo’s lap… would they have seen so much commercial success had she not recorded and released them? Does it matter if she did? How many other songs has she allegedly lifted that we don’t know about? Look, her star power is undeniable, and adding that special ~Jenny from the Block~ touch certainly elevates a record that might’ve sat on the cutting room floor otherwise. Should she go out of her way to share the wealth, or is it just the name of the game? I guess we’ll have to ask Mariah, Usher, Christina Milian, Kat Deluna, 3rd Party and Natasha Ramos.