Johnny Depp and his musical collaborator Jeff Beck are being accused of stealing several lyrics to their song “Sad Motherf—in’ Parade” from a “toast” performed by Missouri State Penitentiary prisoner Slim Wilson and released by folklorist Bruce Jackson, according to Rolling Stone.
In Wilson’s toast “Hobo Ben,” featured in Jackson’s 1974 book Get Your A– in the Water and Swim Like Me, the poem reads, “‘Ladies of culture and beauty so refined, is there one among you that would grant me wine?/ I’m raggedy I know, but I have no stink/ and God bless the lady that’ll buy me a drink’/ Heavy-hipted Hattie turned to Nadine with a laugh/ and said, ‘What that funky motherf—er really need, child, is a bath.’”
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“Sad Motherf—in’ Parade,” off Depp and Beck’s new album, 18, features a number of lines that are seemingly pulled from “Hobo Ben,” including, “I’m raggedy, I know, but I have no stink/ God bless a lady that’ll buy me a drink” and “What that funky motherf—er really needs, child, is a bath.”
The song is credited to Depp and Beck, without mention of Wilson or Jackson, according to Rolling Stone and the official video’s description on YouTube.
“The only two lines I could find in the whole piece that [Depp and Beck] contributed are ‘Big time motherf–ker’ and ‘Bust it down to my level,’” Jackson told the publication. “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 own name on it.”
Billboard has reached out to Depp and Beck’s representatives for comment.
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