Oh boy. Here we go again.
If you’re rushing to your keyboard right now to complain about how I’m just milking this plagiarism topic for views or whatever the fuck, trust me I didn’t even want to fucking write this. This is purely a post that exists because seemingly about 95% of my readers begged me to write it. Here’s just a very small sample of the flood of questions I received on ask.fm about it:
Even noted high-rolling richie-rich celebrity journalists who run much more popular sites than mine got in on the act and asked me if I would write about this issue:
So here we fucking go. Again.
Before we get started, your ready reference of plagiarism-related trufax:
- Introduction to plagiarism
- Plagiarism explained a bit more because people kept fucking asking about it
- Plagiarism explained even more in a desperate last ditch attempt to shut people up (no such luck)
These links might be helpful if you’ve never read anything that I’ve written about plagiarism before or you’re struggling to understand any terminology. Once you’ve read the posts linked above, continue as we discuss
Before we get into the plagiarism, it’s probably important for you to get a picture of what I think of Momoland in general.
What do I think of their songs? The song in question “Bboom Bboom” is actually pretty good and is growing on me. It’s definitely not the best-ever song I’ve heard in that style, but it’s definitely better than a lot of the boring shit that’s out now in k-pop. “Wonderful Love” is still a much better song though, easily their best. “Freeze” is pretty boring, that typical girl k-pop semi-trap nursery rhyme nonsense sound, and the most interesting thing about “Jjan Koong Kwang” is the song title. Maybe they have some other songs or maybe they don’t, but if they do I can’t even remember what they are, which just goes to show that they must have been pretty fucking uninteresting to me.
What do I think of Momoland in general? Actually JooE is the only one that I can even tell apart from the others at this stage. I’d say I’ve got that in common with many other people who know the group casually, given that she was pretty much responsible for dragging the group into the spotlight by dancing stupidly or whatever. More on that later.
Anyway now that you have a full picture of exactly how much bias you can expect in this article, let’s move onto the plagiarism accusation.
Momoland plagiarism accusation #1: Momoland’s “Bboom Bboom” plagiarises Serebro’s “Mi Mi Mi”
Okay, so let’s keep this as simple as I can:
Chord progression for “Bboom Bboom”:
Everything in the song except the pre-chorus: | Ebm – Bb – | B – Db –
Prechourus (first happens at 0:54): | Ebm – – – | Db – – – | B – – – | Bb – – – | Ebm – – – | Db – – – | B – – – | (stop)
Chord progresssion for “Mi Mi Mi”:
The whole thing: | Dm – C – | Bb – A –
Note that the songs are in two different keys, but in terms of functional harmony (which ignores key), “Mi Mi Mi” is i-VII-VI-V, which is the same as the first four chords of Momoland’s pre-chorus, but NOT the same as the four chords making up the main body of “Bboom Bboom”, which is i-V-VI-VII. Same chords, different order. Also the bit that is chordally similar is in half-time in “Bboom Bboom” – four beats for each change rather than two.
This on its own is enough to immediately wreck any “lead sheet” comparison, meaning that it isn’t plagiarism. Then adding on top of that, are the following differences:
- Lyrics are completely different, obviously
- Vocal melodies are completely different in all sections of the song, no resemblance whatsoever
- Phrasing of the rap parts is also completely different
- “Mi Mi Mi” doesn’t even have a half-time pre-chorus
- “Mi Mi Mi” also doesn’t have a bullshit trap section
- The sax riffs in each song are probably the closest similarity and they’re not really all that similar, with Momoland’s sax riff notably doing a fair bit more octave jumping
So why do people think that they’re similar? Two reasons:
- Same electro-swing pop genre, and all electro-swing has pretty much the same beat or it wouldn’t be electro-swing
- The intros are almost identical texturally, and people are in many cases probably not bothering to listen past the intro
Both songs start with those four chords on the acoustic guitar before the fairly similar beat kicks in. Never mind that they’re different chords – remember most listeners are tone-deaf to some degree and probably wouldn’t notice that. So “it sounds similar, therefore plagiarism” is a logical conclusion for the average listener to come to, especially if they only heard the start and didn’t bother to listen beyond about ten seconds because their mind was already made up by that point… which in the world of k-pop where people love/hate anybody for no reason like moronic mouth-breathers barracking for sports teams, is pretty fucking common. That’s why so many other baseless plagiarism accusations have surfaced about this song as well – four-chord acoustic intros are actually pretty common in k-pop generally speaking.
Which brings us to:
Momoland plagiarism accusation #2: Momoland’s “Bboom Bboom” intro plagiarises EXID’s “Nyam Nyam Jeop Jeop”
Chord progression for “Jyam Nyam Jeop Jeop” (just the intro):
| Ebm – Gb – | Ab – B –
In functional harmony this is i-III-IV-VI, also completely different to “Bboom Bboom”. The rest of the song is also as different as “Mi Mi Mi” is – different melodies, different in every way except the beat.
Momoland plagiarism accusation #3: Momoland’s “Bboom Bboom” intro plagiarises BTS’s “DNA”
Chord progression for “DNA” (just the intro… well, the whole thing to be honest):
| Dbm – Ab – | AMaj7 – B –
This is i-V-VIMaj7-VII, the closest fit to “Bboom Bboom” yet, but the rest of the songs sounds really fucking different in every way that it can, melody, rhythm, the works, and a chord progression in isolation is not copyrightable. BTS do have a half-time pre-chorus on their song but it doesn’t change up the chord progression at that point like Momoland’s song does.
Momoland plagiarism accusation #4: Momoland’s “Bboom Bboom” intro plagiarises T-ara’s “Number Nine”
Chord progression for “Number Nine” (just the intro):
| F#m – – – | C#m – – – | E – – – | B – C# –
So that’s i-v-VII-IV-V. Pretty different.
But wait, there’s more!
Momoland plagiarism accusation #5: Momoland’s “Bboom Bboom” chorus plagiarises EXID’s “DDD” chorus
Chorus from 1:07 in “DDD” vs 0:54 in “Bboom Bboom”. This accusation is particularly dumb because Shinsadong Tiger wrote both songs – what is he going to do, sue himself? I guess he might as well, he could use the money.
Oh yeah and:
Momoland plagiarism accusation #6: Momoland’s “Bboom Bboom” plagiarises Orange Caramel’s “My Copycat”
Okay, nobody accused them of this really, or at least not yet. I just wanted to link “My Copycat” here because it’s a much better song than “Bboom Bboom”, but in the same genre, which is why I’m not as sold on “Bboom Bboom” as I otherwise might be.
Enough of this nonsense, let’s take a look at something real and legit, shall we?
Completely trufaxual Momoland plagiarism accusation from Kpopalypse #1 – Momoland’s gun dance fancam plagiarises Sunmi’s gun dance in “Gashina”.
Reddit/kpop took exception to the fact that I said Sunmi’s “Gashina” mainly achieved fame over Americans going crazy over the gun dance, because there’s a lot of humourless otakus over there who think I’m “edgy” and wouldn’t know a black-humour joke if it pulled over on the side of the street and raped their mum, but anyone who genuinely was popping a boner over that dance probably blew their nuts so hard over Yeonwoo waving a desert eagle around in the fancam above that their underwear hit the ceiling. Is it plagiarism or not, fucked if I know, but for those who haven’t seen it yet aren’t you glad I posted this.
Completely trufaxual Momoland plagiarism accusation from Kpopalypse #2 – JooE’s iconic dancing in Momoland’s “Wonderful Love” remix plagiarises Peter Garrett’s even more iconic dancing
Peter Garrett, failed politician and lead singer of boring Australian rock group Midnight Oil had maybe two good songs out of 200, but at least he could dance. FUCK he could dance. It’s pretty obvious that JooE ripped off all his moves from “Power And The Passion”, one of their only decent songs because at least Mr Rusty Gate shuts up for about 30 seconds while the drummer does the
best only drum solo in Aussie rock. Enjoy the video below, with different music over the top of his dancing because nobody wants to actually hear Midnight Oil, least of all me. Why do you think I listen to k-pop instead.
That’s all for this post, Kpopalypse’s Plagiarism Fun Times will return hopefully never, but probably sooner than we all would like. To all my haters, you think you hate these shitty posts, how the fuck do you think I feel having to write them, huh? Anyway, hopefully you all extracted some tiny entertainment value out of this post, even if it was just to enable you to shit on it on your social media of choice! Stay safe, and dance responsibly! Kpopalypse loves you all!