According to the Jamaican born-artist Michael May, stage name Flourgon, Miley Cyrus stole from his cut “We Run Things” released in 1988 was stolen.
Flourgon didn’t claim that Cyrus’ song has a similar melody, he said it contains the same sentiment and rebellious spirit. He also said that her cut wouldn’t be nearly as popular if she didn’t use his tune as a reference.
“[Cyrus used] unique and creative lyrical phraseology in order to establish an overarching and pervasive theme … in the realm of self-discovery and self-governing,” a court document read.
He is also accusing Cyrus and Sony of using the phrase “We run things. Things no run we,” whereas the “Wrecking Ball” singer uses the lyrics “We run things. Things don’t run we.”
His track dropped a few years before Cyrus was born but it never topped the U.S. charts. Flourgon is suing for $300 million.
While some may find it challenging to hear a direct connection between the two songs in terms of sound, one could say that Flourgon has a point about Cyrus borrowing its overall swagger. And even if the 25-year-old didn’t pull directly from “We Run Things,” she’s certainly benefited from the in-your-face style of certain aspects of Black music, which she’s been criticized for.
Cyrus also received a lot of backlash for her finicky relationship with hip-hop, since at one time she was dropping rap-inspired singles with producer Mike Will Made-It, then later she criticized much of the genre and said it was too negative. That was after the singer praised Kendrick Lamar’s cut “Humble” and said that she wished other rappers had songs with similar messages.
“‘Show me something natural like ass with some stretch marks,’” she told Billboard magazine, quoting the Compton rapper. “I love that because it’s not ‘Come sit on my d—, suck on my c—.’ I can’t listen to that anymore. That’s what pushed me out of the hip-hop scene a little. It was too much ‘Lamborghini, got my Rolex, got a girl on my c—‘ — I am so not that.”
Later, after being criticized for her comments, Cyrus re-explained herself. Basically, a lot of people had a problem because she seemed to focus on the sexual, materialism side of rap music and not the full scope of it.
Then after the controversy died down a bit, Cyrus appeared on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and got taken to task for singing Cardi B’s hit “Bodak Yellow.” Some people called her a hypocrite for distancing herself from hip-hop in one breath, then using another breath to proudly sing the Bronx rapper’s tune.
At this time, neither Cyrus or her lawyers have responded to Flourgon’s lawsuit, and there’s no word when the case will appear in front of a judge.
You can listen to both songs below and determine for yourself if there are any similarities.