August 5, 2022 3:48 p.m.
’18’ is the title of the album with which they surprised us last July Johnny Depp Y jeff beckmaterializing the alliance between these two great stars and prolonging the actor’s idyll with the world of music that we began to enjoy with Alice Cooper Y joe perry in hollywood vampires. The song is on this album “Sad Motherfuckin’ Parade”a theme that appears signed by Depp, on which they have now been accused of having stolen the lyrics from a prisoner convicted of robbery and murder.
As reported rolling stonethe lyrics of this song would have been stolen from an ancient text entitled “Hobo Ben”which is attributed to Slim Wilsona gambler, pimp, thief and murderer, who was serving time in the Missouri State Prison. Wilson’s words, in the poetic form of what is known in African-American culture as “toast,” were picked up by the folk artist Bruce Jacksonwhom Wilson had met in 1964 during his prison days, in his book ‘Get Your Ass in the Water and Swim Like Me’ (1974), in which he collected these “toasts”, which would also be included on a disc of the same title released in 1976.
the verses “I’m raggedy, I know, but I have no stink / God bless a lady that’ll buy me a drink” and “What that funky motherfucker really needs, child, is a bath”are part of the Depp and Beck song, coinciding with those that shaped “Hobo Ben” decades ago, where we find them as follows: “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” and “Heavy -hipted Hattie turned to Nadine with a laugh / and said, ‘What that funky motherfucker really need, child, is a bath.'”
Fate has wanted that the son of Bruce Jackson, michael lee jackson, be a lawyer specializing in music and intellectual property. Although for the moment no legal action has been taken, the lawyer has stated that “It’s just not plausible, in my opinion, that Johnny Depp or anyone else could have sat down and crafted those lyrics without taking them almost entirely from some version of my father’s recording and/or book.”
“I’ve never come across anything like this. I’ve been publishing stuff for 50 years, and this is the first time someone has ripped something off and put their own name on it.”commented Bruce Jackson, who assures himself that it would be difficult to succeed with a lawsuit, given the traditional nature and oral transmission of “toasts” in African-American culture, which has also opened the debate on cultural appropriation of this type of verses by two white artists.
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