Today In Alleged Plagiarism: Does "All About That Bass" Rip Off A 2006 K-Pop Song?

Plagiarism accusations run wild in the world of music — just this month we’ve seen a high-profile one of Tame Impala. Usually, they don’t result in anything, but it is fun to listen to what songs supposedly copied whom. The latest on trial is Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass,” the brassy number that’s shot up to the top of the charts and is currently sitting at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was written by Trainor and songwriter Kevin Kadish, who was nominated for a Grammy for his engineering on Jason Mraz’s sophomore album. It’s been pointed out via some videos on Youtube that the song sounds a lot like a 2006 song from South Korean group Koyote called “Gippeummodeu,” in English “Happy Mode.” The song was written by Korean songwriter Joo Young Hoon, who said in a tweet that he was contacting a lawyer. The rabbit hole even goes a little deeper: both songs sound a like a 1989 Phish song called “Contact.” Watch videos comparing all of them below.

“All About That Bass” vs. “Happy Mode,” side-by-side

“All About That Bass” vs. “Happy Mode,” at the same time

“Contact” vs. “All About That Bass” vs. “Happy Mode”

What do you think? If anything, the second version makes for a pretty good remix.

Comments (14)
  1. I started playing that last video and it’s like, those are EXACTLY the kinds of lyrics I imagined a Phish song would have.

  2. lol they are all the same

  3. If we are adding all songs that have a melody that is just a descending major scale lets throw Weezer’s Hash Pipe in there too!

  4. So I finally listened to that song and it’s honestly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard.

  5. i mean this is just such a simple, classic vocal melody? genuinely don’t believe you can really claim to have ‘written’ this, as much as you could claim to have invented a I-IV-V chord change. part of the furniture.

    • there is a *very* old song with the exact same vocal that i just can’t put my finger on but i know it exists, damnit.

    • Yeah, it’s a very simple, almost generic, melody. Claiming it to be stolen is ridiculous. I mean, yeah, subconsciously it probably is stolen, but it’s more than likely not influenced by a K-Pop record 99% of Americans probably never heard until now.

      • That is a stupid argument. Why would you copy a song that alot of people already heard of? If youre gonna plagiarize a song would you plagiarize gangnam style?

        In a diff note that melody really sounds familiar. It does seem generic.

  6. Ok.. It’ a catch and cute song with a common do wop beat found all over the world.. As a poster put it- “generic” If you see this tune digitally written I can computer overlay to 60% with over 3,000 songs.
    It’s only a cute spin on lyrics.

  7. my gf likes it because she has a big old butt

  8. Is the old song you are thing of “Nothing Succeeds Like Success” by Bill Deal and the Rhondells?

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