A Jamaican musician named Flourgon is claiming that US pop star Miley Cyrus' 2013 smash hit “We Can't Stop” is a rip off of “We Run Things”, a track he recorded around 25 years before.
The tracks do not appear to be similar enough to warrant a lawsuit; however, Flourgon isn't accusing Cyrus of directly copying his song's beat. He instead argues “We Can't Stop” is heavily influenced by Caribbean music and has a “unique and creative lyrical phraseology in order to establish an overarching and pervasive theme ... in the realm of self-discovery and self-governings,” according to Complex.
Furthermore, the Jamaican artist reportedly won “formal copyright protection” for all musical arrangements in “We Run Things” back in November.
The lawsuit points to the most obvious similarity: Flourgon's song contains the lyrics, “We run things. Things no run we,” while the hook in “We Can't Stop” contains the phrase, “We run things. Things don't run we.”
Cyrus' record, which served as the lead single of her 2013 “Bangerz” album, was an undeniable commercial success. In addition to topping several charts, the track has received multiple platinum certifications, including five in the US.
Flourgon insists the song's success wouldn't have happened without “We Run Things”, which is why he's asking the court to stop all future sales and performances of “We Can't Stop”. Though the suit didn't specify damages, Flourgon's attorney released a statement that described the suit as a “$300 million case.”