Drake’s “Hotline Bling” has come under scrutiny after D.R.A.M. accused him of “jacking” the beat. But did Drake rip off “Cha Cha” or was he just inspired?
Upon further investigation, it appears that both songs contain a sample of Timmy Thomas’ “Why Can’t We Live Together,” while “Cha Cha” incorporates music from Super Mario.
But D.R.A.M. clearly feels that he was robbed. Earlier today, he tweeted, “Yeah, I feel I got jacked for my record…But I’m GOOD.”
Yeah, I feel I got jacked for my record…But I’m GOOD.
— D.R.A.M. not DRAM (@ONLY1DRAM) October 20, 2015
While Drake hasn’t responded directly to the accusations, he did address the uncanny comparisons in a recent interview with The FADER, which was just released. He acknowledges that “Hotline Bling” was based on “Cha Cha” and says that his song falls in line with what dancehall artists do with a riddim.
“You know, like in Jamaica, you’ll have a riddim and it’s like, everyone has to do a song on that,” said Drake. “Imagine that in rap, or imagine that in R&B. Imagine if we got one beat and every single person—me, this guy, this guy, all these guys—had to do a song on that one beat. So sometimes I’ll pick a beat that’s a bit, like, sunnier, I guess is the word you used, than usual, and I just try my hand at it. And that’s kind of what ‘Hotline Bling’ was. And I loved it. It’s cool. I’ve been excited by that sort of creative process.”
Erykah Badu, who released a cover of “Hotline Bling,” had her own take on the D.R.A.M.A. “We loved ‘Cha Cha’ first,” she tweeted. “Very unique and raw. That’s that underground magic force that sparks a seed to grow a tree.”