Extra! Korea

January 25, 2010

Is Girls’ Generation’s “Oh!” plagiarized from Rihanna’s “Shut Up and Drive”?

Filed under: intellectual property, music — extrakorea @ 2:03 pm

Girls’ Generation’s new song “Oh!” (in addition to giving us an overdose of Asian poses) has already been accused of being plagiarized from Rihanna’s “Shut Up and Drive.” You can judge for yourself by watching this video. Note that the maker of the video acknowledges that:
a. Rihanna’s song is 133 beats-per-minute (BPM) while G-Gen’s is 144.
b. Rihanna’s song is one semitone lower in pitch than G-Gen’s.

Know what I think? I think that … Rihanna looks really freakin’ hot in that video!


  1. Rip off!

    Comment by Ken — January 26, 2010 @ 12:53 am

  2. Definitely a copy.

    Posting the odds on a successful lawsuit against SNSD (successful defined as paying a settlement or being found guilty at copyright thievery) at 50-1.

    /Not actually taking bets

    Comment by Chris in South Korea — January 26, 2010 @ 11:39 am

    • Koreans would never copy anything! Everything is original in Korea! The printing press, the species of Christmas tree foreigners use and kimchi made with KOREAN hot peppers are proof of this!! If you do like it, go back to your country!!

      Comment by Amujja — January 29, 2010 @ 10:12 pm

  3. Girls’ Generation/SNSD – “Oh”…

    Oh… how cute! Girls’ Generation/SNSD – “Oh” I love how some of the girls’ clothes are colored coordinated with each other’s but some of the other girls aren’t. It was like some of them didn’t get the me…

    Trackback by musicismyhothotsex — February 2, 2010 @ 2:14 am

  4. […] a translation) to the song, see Yeeun2Grace here, and if you haven’t seen it already, then this video (via Extra! Korea) makes a pretty compelling case that the song has been plagiarized from […]

    Pingback by Oh? Oh…! « The Grand Narrative — February 2, 2010 @ 3:24 am

  5. The two songs use a vaguely similar chord structure (not even, because Rihanna’s is minor). Their melodies have almost nothing in common. Observe:

    Rihanna’s melody (adjusted to key) vs. SNSD’s, lined up by rhythm

    Measures 1 & 2:
    D D A A A A G G G G F# F#F# D D
    Got you where you wanna go if you know what I mean/ got a
    Bb Bb Bb Bb C C C C G G G
    jeo- ne al-deon naega an-ya brand new style

    Measures 3 & 4:
    F F G G G G G F# F# D D
    ride that’s smoother than a limo- sine/ Can you
    F F F F G G G G A A A
    saero- wojin na- wa hamk-ke one more round

    Measures 5&6:
    A A A G G G G F# F# F# D D
    handle the curves Can you run all the lights/ If you
    Bb Bb Bb C C G G G
    Dance dance dance till we run this town

    Measures 7&8:
    F F F G G G G F# F# F#
    can ba- by boy then we can go all night
    F F F F F F F F G G G G
    op- pa op-pa i’ll be i’ll be down down down down

    The only thematic elements they share are that they are addressing a boy and they both use the word “run” at around the same spot. Rihanna’s part is the chorus and SNSD’s is a verse. Their rhythms are slightly similar in that they use several straight, on-the-beat eighth and quarter notes…..as does almost every other pop song (actually, most genres) of all time. And as you said, the tempos and keys are even different.

    Certainly, Korean pop has been known to blatantly steal from American pop in the past, but I honestly believe this is a really big stretch.

    And holy crap did I just waste a lot of time on this, lol! What can I say, I like comparative music. 🙂

    Comment by Tiffani — February 2, 2010 @ 7:29 am

    • :O!!! It ate all my formatting. ;_; Let me try to put it up somewhere else so I can link y’all…

      Comment by Tiffani — February 2, 2010 @ 7:31 am

      • *siiiiiigh* I lost it, never to be found again. Oh well. Trust me, it was gloriously and beautifully lined up exactly by beat. But I think you can get the idea anyway. Forgive me my failure :[

        Comment by Tiffani — February 2, 2010 @ 7:34 am

  6. […] expressed her gratitude that Kim Yu-na uses her music. There’s no word yet on whether or not she’s seen Girls’ Generations’ “Oh!” […]

    Pingback by All about Rihanna in Korea « Extra! Korea — February 13, 2010 @ 7:00 am


    Comment by ALEARA — February 13, 2010 @ 7:33 pm

  8. Thanks for the close analysis, Tiffani. I’m with you on this one. I’m certainly predisposed to seeing a lot of plagiarism in K-pop and there is certainly plenty around, but I don’t think this is an example. Given the basic generic limits of pop music, I’d need much more resemblance in the melody lines to be convinced….And thanks for the interesting idea in any case, extra korea (you have absolutely *no* disagreement from me in your last observation about Rihanna, btw……)

    Comment by dogdyedblack — February 26, 2010 @ 5:02 am

  9. It seems to me like they did copy. I feel ashamed of this.

    Comment by J.Kim — July 22, 2010 @ 9:33 am

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