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Entertainment

In defense of Salbakuta’s S2PID LUV

SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil -
Lawyer Jose Paolo Ariola of the Regional Trial Court Branch 42, Hall of Justice, Bacolod City, sent in a letter, the contents of which also seem to be in the minds of many who have certainly heard the recording of S2PID LUV by the hip hop group Salbakuta.

I am a lover of music. Thus, through your column, I would like to express this grievous concern that I have in the light of the travesty committed against the song Evergreen by the rap group Salbakuta in their song S2PID LUV.

What have they done to this classic of a love song? I find it so revolting that this rap group has desecrated this 1970’s song written by pop icon Barbra Streisand and Paul Wiliams. Worse, they’ve even been allowed to make a movie out of it. While rap music appears to be the current rage of the new millennium, still I firmly believe that rap groups have no right to make a mockery of love songs, which through the years have gained their hallowed and exalted place in the field of music.

Oh and by the way, did Salbakuta ever secure the permission of Ms. Streisand and Mr. Williams or perhaps the recording company who owns the right to Evergreen for them to use some verses of the latter song in S2PID LUV? If not, then this is a classic case of plagiarism.


Thank you very much for writing, Atty. Ariola. The use of old songs in hip hop recordings is nothing new. Some of the most famous and I must say very effective examples of recent times are Angel by Shaggy which used Juice Newton’s Angel of the Morning and I’ll Be Missing You by Puff Daddy, which used Sting’s Every Breath You Take. Like these two big sellers, Salbakuta’s own take on Evergreen also proved to be most successful.

The plot of S2PID LUV is nothing new. It is about a woman doing wrong to a man. It happened to Samson when he met Delilah. It is in the classic Frankie and Johnny, in the Eraserheads’ Pare Ko, in the Backstreet Boys’ Quit Playing Games with My Heart and you will certainly find it in many opera arias and lieds and kundimans and pop songs everywhere in the world. Stupid lovers as described by Salbakuta do exist.

I suppose your objection to the use of Evergreen in S2PID LUV arises from the language used in the rap portion. It is stronger than usual but we have to remember that rap is the poetry of the streets. There are people in this world who speak that way and there must be plenty of them around judging from the way they respond to S2PID LUV. Language is constantly changing and what was rude or objectionable some years ago can win acceptance later on. Remember, there was also so much flak raised about the Taglish language of the Manila Sound movement during the ’70s, but those songs are now considered classics.

Opinions vary about S2PID LUV but the great thing about this tune is that it revived interest in Evergreen. Songs do die, you know. And even something as beautiful as Evergreen can fade into oblivion if nobody takes the trouble to perform it again. I am not saying that Williams and Streisand should be grateful to Salbakuta but it cannot be denied that because of S2PID LUV, young listeners are taking the trouble to listen to the original version by Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson contained in the soundtrack of A Star is Born.

In the process they will find out that Streisand has other songs like People, that Kristofferson is not just the guy in Blade but also sings Why Me and that it was Williams who wrote You and Me Against the World. Music evolves through the years. Tschaikovsky is in the hit charts with All By Myself and whoever composed On Top of Old Smokey did not object when the song became On Top of Spaghetti and turned into an even bigger hit.

I am not aware of how the publishing rights to Evergreen was acquired by Salbakuta. I do not think Streisand or Williams are likely to raise a racket as they are doubtless aware of the rule of compulsory licensing. This means anybody can record those old songs by foreign composers as long as they give proper credit and pay the right amount of royalties.

A STAR

ALL BY MYSELF

ANGEL OF THE MORNING

BACKSTREET BOYS

BACOLOD CITY

BARBRA STREISAND AND KRIS KRISTOFFERSON

BARBRA STREISAND AND PAUL WILIAMS

BE MISSING YOU

LUV

S2PID

SALBAKUTA

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