There’s a moment in Drake’s recent song “All the Parties” — yes, it’s the same one with the “DJ Pooper Scooper” bit — where Drake works in a couple of lines from a very different song that made its debut a few years before his birth. That song is Pet Shop Boys’ “West End Girls” — and it turns out the artist who first made that song famous isn’t terribly thrilled about it.
As Abby Jones reported at Consequence, the band took to their Instagram account to say that it was “surprising” to hear the “West End Girls” interpolation in Drake’s song. “No credit given or permission requested,” they added.
It’s worth noting here that this is not a case of a scrappy DIY artist riffing on a classic pop song for subversive reasons. This is one world-famous musician quoting the work of another world-famous musician. There’s plenty of precedent for big-name artists being especially diligent when it comes to acknowledging samples and references – see also, this extensive breakdown of the work that informed Beyoncé’s Lemonade.
As Jones points out in the article, Pet Shop Boys are not alone in taking issue with a certain Toronto-based pop star. Halle Berry is also upset with Drake due to his use of a photograph of her. Given that Drake’s recent tour has literally set financial records, it’s hard to imagine that he doesn’t have the money to compensate Pet Shop Boys for their work — making this whole feud that much more baffling.
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