Johnny Depp And Jeff Beck Face ‘Plagiarism’ Accusations

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According to a recent report from Rolling Stone, Johnny Depp and Jeff Beck’s new song ‘Sad Motherf*ckin’ Parade’ from their new album ’18’ shares very similar lines to ‘Hobo Ben,’ but they have not given any credit to Slim Wilson or Bruce Jackson.

Plagiarism has been a recurring discussion topic in the music scene for decades. Many artists have faced similar accusations, such as Bruce Springsteen for ripping off KISS, Nikki Sixx for copying Guns N’ Roses, and Nirvana for plagiarising a Sex Pistols album title. However, Johnny Depp and Jeff Beck’s situation seems to be slightly different.

Jeff Beck and Johnny Depp have been called out for not appropriately crediting the actual author for their new track ‘Sad Motherf*ckin Parade.’ Rolling Stone drew readers’ attention to the number of lyrics that precisely imitated a spoken word poem called ‘Hobo Ben.’

The poem was recited by a jailed armed robber, a murderer known as Slim Wilson. This poem was featured in the 1974 book ‘Get Your Ass in the Water and Swim Like Me: African-American Narrative Poetry from the Oral Tradition.’ The book was put together by none other than Bruce Jackson himself.

Bruce Jackson stated that he had never experienced so much plagiarism in his 50 years of working in the industry. He added that only two lines differ from Slim’s version of the poem. In his eyes, Depp and Beck took the piece and renamed it without giving any credit to him or Slim Wilson.

Jackson’s son, Michael Lee Jackson, a lawyer in the field of music and intellectual property, stressed that this is unacceptable. According to him, no one could have produced those words without reference to his father’s records or the book in which they were written.

Bruce Jackson’s thoughts on Johnny Depp and Jeff Beck plagiarizing ‘Hobo Ben’ lyrics:

“The only two lines I could find in the whole piece that [Depp and Beck] contributed are ‘Big time motherf*cker’ and ‘Bust it down to my level.’ Everything else is from Slim’s performance in my book. I’ve never encountered anything like this. I’ve been publishing stuff for 50 years, and this is the first time anybody has just ripped something off and put his name on it.”

Michael Lee Jackson’s words about his father’s stolen lyrics:

They do not reflect the actual authorship of those lyrics. It’s just not plausible, in my opinion, that Johnny Depp or anybody else could have sat down and crafted those lyrics without almost wholly taking them from some version of my father’s recording and book where they appeared.”

You can listen to ‘Sad Motherf*ckin Parade’ below.