On last week’s American Idol finale, Jennifer Lopez debuted her new song “Ain’t Your Mama” — an anthem feminist in nature but decidedly the opposite in practice, thanks to a dirty little secret: Dr. Luke produced it. Luke is, of course, at the center of Kesha’s ongoing personal and professional nightmare, and has been largely ostracized in the music industry following Kesha’s allegations against him. So when the news leaked that Luke was behind Lopez’s latest single (which is otherwise pretty great), many understandably demanded she be held accountable for working with an alleged abuser.
But as is the case with many a Big Pop song, its backstory isn’t as cut and dry as the idea that J. Lo willingly sought out Dr. Luke to produce her new song, despite the allegations. Meghan Trainor, the song’s co-writer, now tells Digital Spy that Lopez apparently was unaware Luke was involved when she first picked the song. “I texted her the song and she had no idea — she thought I did it alone by myself at my house, which a lot of people think because I do do that,” she swears. Here’s the rest of her story: “I sent it to her and said, ‘Do you like the song?’ and she said, ‘I love the song, my kid loves the song — he’s made me play it five times already so I know it’s a hit — when can I cut it?’, so I said immediately, ‘Whenever you want!’”
Trainor’s explanation implies that J. Lo had no knowledge that Dr. Luke worked on the song before it landed in her texts, but it’s unclear whether or not she ever found out. (Though it’s unlikely Lopez wouldn’t know Luke, who is credited as both a co-producer and a co-writer on the song, made it.) Still, Trainor insists that Lopez shouldn’t be blamed for working with Luke: “[It was] not fair on her, not at all … I felt terrible when Jennifer got all the hate for [’Ain’t Your Mama’], and it’s just all ridiculous. It’s such a big song for her.”
So who, then, is at fault for this egregious oversight? Trainor seemingly wrote and recorded the original version with Luke, but it’s important to remember that rare is the artist who doesn’t answer to their label overlords. You guessed it: Lopez and Trainor are both under the same Sony umbrella as Luke’s Kemosabe Records (which is experiencing major layoffs), through Epic Records. In fact, Trainor made sure to name-drop Epic’s head honcho in her interview: “L.A. Reid wants me to work with her on this new record because we’ve had so much success.”
So if you’re hungry for a scapegoat, look beyond the two women bearing the brunt of the blame for a change, and pay attention to the suits cutting all the checks.