What’s that saying: haters gon’ hate, and songwriters, they gon’ sue? After more than two years of the internet pointing out the unmissable lyrical similarity between Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” and the underrated relic of 2000s pop, 3LW’s “Playas Gon’ Play,” the duo behind the latter have finally taken legal action. TMZ reports that Sean Hall and Nathan Butler, who wrote the 2000 gem, have sued Swift for cribbing their words. They specifically point to the song’s nearly identical chorus, which alters “The playas gon’ play / Them haters gonna hate” to “’Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play / And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.” To their minds, simply repeating hate and play four more times isn’t fooling anyone. Hall and Butler are requesting a 20 percent songwriting credit on “Shake It Off” and all the royalties such authorship would owe them.
Coincidentally, for Taylor’s latest hit, “Look What You Made Me Do,” she offered songwriting credit to Right Said Fred over similarities to “I’m Too Sexy,” presumably to avoid this very kind of lawsuit. She faced another less convincing lawsuit in 2015 from a singer who also thought she stole these same words, but from him. But it appears Swift is already confident she can shake this one off: Her reps tell TMZ that the suit is a “ridiculous claim and nothing more than a money grab. The law is simple and clear. They do not have a case.”