Jennifer Lopez's new single should really be called "It's the Same Old Song" — or rather, "Songs."
"Get Right" is not exactly new stuff. Like most everything else in hip-hop, it's cobbled together from bits and pieces of existing music, rap lyrics and a shrill horn section that sounds amazing, just like an Usher record from last year.
Frankly, I don't want to be around 20 years from now when all the so-called songwriters listed on hip-hop records come looking for their royalties. But that's another story. Lopez's "Get Right" is actually borrowed from a rap record by Fabolous, aka John David Jackson.
I can't quote any part of the original "Get Right," because it's one of the most offensive rap lyrics I've ever seen on a piece of paper. Lennon and McCartney, Ashford and Simpson, Cole Porter, it ain't.
Lopez's recording, which debuted on MTV a couple of days ago, has an alternate version with a rap by Fabolous, so you know Jackson got his money. But also credited in writing this song is a disparate group of people, including famous (and very much alive) Motown/Moonglows singer Harvey Fuqua and the very deceased rap legend Christopher "Biggie Smalls" Wallace .
The latter's publishing rights, by the way, go to Justin Combs Publishing, which is owned by Sean "P. Diddy" Combs — Justin is his son.
The rest of "Get Right" is an enigma wrapped in a riddle. Trying to figure this part out is harder than following a plot on "Alias."
It would seem that the melody line in Lopez's "Get Right" comes from an old R&B song written by Fuqua and his partner Lottie Woods from the early '70s, when they were working with a group called New Birth .
And where does that Biggie Smalls part come in? It's possible that the Fuqua-Woods song was already used as a sample for another hip-hop record, called "Players Anthem," by the Junior M.A.F.I.A., and that the whole thing got grandfathered into Lopez's new pastiche.
The horn part is the real mystery here. It sounds like it's taken directly from an Usher record, featuring Bad Seed, called "Ride." Whoever played the horn on that track should be calling his entertainment lawyer right about now.
The only name not listed on the "Get Right" credits (yet) so far is Lopez, which is something of a surprise. Her credit is usually attached to her hit records so that she gets a cut of the royalties.
On the 31 songs credited to Lopez on the BMI Broadcast Music database, not one has fewer than three co-authors. Her hit "Jenny From the Block" has an astounding eleven co-writers listed.
Fuqua, who taught the whole gang at Motown how to act and dress, who sang with the Moonglows and wrote hits with Marvin Gaye, should get a boatload of money for this, and he didn't have to do a thing. God bless.
Luckily, the new "Get Right" will not be getting any Best Song nominations at the 2006 Grammy Awards. If so, there would be a collision on stage. I wonder if Lopez has any idea where this "song" came from, or if she even knows who wrote it.
The same might have been asked last year of Beyoncé Knowles, whose "Crazy in Love" was actually a Chi-Lites record from 1969 written by the legendary Eugene Record.
The new "Get Right" might set a record for the longest intro ever. In fact, the whole "song" is an intro. Lopez repeats the chorus (with that shrill Usher horn riff playing behind her) for a full two minutes before she hits the "song" part. And that's where the problem lies.
Unadorned by her usual phalanx of backup singers, Lopez then starts shrieking, or talk-singing, for the remaining one-minute, 45-second melody. It's a frightening moment in pop-music history, but a delicious one to imagine being recreated on TV shows when the inevitable publicity deluge begins for Lopez's new album, due in March.
This column was first to report some time ago that James B. Stewart's book, "Disney War," about Michael Eisner's reign at the Mouse House, was imminent.
The book is excerpted in the latest issue of The New Yorker and, as promised, gives a glimpse of what's to come when the full tome appears.
Eisner was under the impression he was being handled with soft, kid gloves by Stewart. Alas, this was not to be.
Condé Nast seems to have banished editorial director James Truman to Europe. The company that spews out Vanity Fair, Vogue and shopping mags Cargo and Lucky announced yesterday that Truman is gone, after 11 years, in a cloud of smoke — poof.
The press release says "he's going back to Europe." Gosh, they won't let him even stay in the United States? Oh well.
Condé Nast gets the best of people, then hatchets them — just ask Grace Mirabella, Ruth Whitney (if you could), etc.
James rescued Details for Condé Nast back in 1991 and put it on the map. But he vanished in the last few years after being known as the planner of the Condé Nast cafeteria. Now he leaves for greener pastures in Lichtenstein or Gstaad.
Congrats to Jude Law and Sienna Miller on their engagement, "announced" yesterday by publicists.
Wasn't it back in early October that the tabloids said they were engaged? Didn't Sienna tell this column at the time that it wasn't true? We can all rest easy knowing this has been resolved.