Lupe Fiasco (legally) rips off Modest Mouse

This is plain ridiculous. I was listening to the radio in the car and heard a song (which I now know to be Lupe Fiasco’s “The Show Goes On”) that immediately sounded familiar, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. And then it clicked. It was Modest Mouse’s super popular single from 2004, “Float On” (of the excellent album Good News for People Who Love Bad News).

At first I thought this was potentially some goof cover song that leaked from the upcoming Big Boi and Modest Mouse collaboration, but then I remembered that Big Boi isn’t apparently doing any rapping in that collaboration, in addition to the fact that the rapper from the song in question sounded nothing like Big Boi.

So, after some quick internet investigation I found Lupe Fiasco’s “The Show Goes On” (off his 2011 album Lasers), which seems to steal/copy the tune of “Float On” and even is as blatant to open the song with a nearly identical guitar riff. Now I’m not an advocate of lawsuits, but if Lupe Fiasco is making any significant amount of money with this song, he should definitely hand a good chunk of it over to Isaac Brock and the Modest Mouse crew…lame. Take a listen for yourself below.

Editor’s Note: I recently found a video of Lupe stating in a video interview that he had no part producing the track and that the sample was indeed apparently cleared and that Modest Mouse gave their personal approval. So it is ok after all, but i’m still not a fan of it. Check out the video below for proof.

13 thoughts on “Lupe Fiasco (legally) rips off Modest Mouse

  1. It’s called sampling. A normal thing in Hip Hop where a portion of a song or a melody is taken and re-done to from a new track. Every sample or melody for a beat that’s used by a producer needs clearance.- So the Modest Mouse folks must have been cool with the use of the song and they probably do get quite some money off of it.

    • I am very familiar with hip-hop and sampling and this is not that. There is no direct sample from the original song, just a re-use (and re-recording) of the same melody and guitar riff. If Lupe in fact got clearance from Modest Mouse, then clearly he didn’t “rip it off” and then I’m fine with it. Although if this is the case, I still think it’s kind of lame, at the least he could actually sample the song or feature Isaac to sing the chorus or make a cameo in the video or something to make it obvious that Modest Mouse is cool with it.

      To date, I have not seen or read anything to make me believe that Lupe cleared this with Modest Mouse beforehand. Since you seem to be pretty knowledgeable about Lupe, definitely link me if you have some proof of it. I’d be really curious about that and I would of course edit my post.

  2. I am disappointed by Modest Mouse. That was a great song. Now its tarnished by a version where some young douche bag “talks” over the melody.

    • You are the douche bag. You are so ignorant. I can understand if you don’t like the song but it doesn’t tarnish Float On. Float On is still a better song, so you and the other immature fan-boys need to chill the fuck out. If you don’t like the song, then don’t listen to it but you are very ignorant if you rip a song because it takes parts from another song with LEGAL PERMISSION. Clearly you are some bitter middle-aged man who resents young people because they don’t do things like you do or like the same music you do. I like Modest Mouse way better than I do Lupe, in fact Show goes on is the only Lupe song I like, but that is because he sampled Float On. Show goes on is a good song BECAUSE it sampled Float On. Just enjoy the music you listen to and don’t worry if someone uses it in a “rap” song just because you are prejudiced against young rappers. Why can’t we just enjoy music? Instead of arguing about it. Rant over.

    • Lol. Lupe Fiasco shouldn’t be dismissed as ‘some young douche bag’. He’s one of the few politically conscious artists in the music industry, and anyone doubtful of his versatility should hear him perform as Wasalu in the band Japanese Cartoon.

  3. “Internet investigation”? Clearly, a lack thereof.

    Disliking the song doesn’t warrant the defamation of an artist who legally obtained the rights.

    I, personally, prefer Modest Mouse’s song over Lupe’s ten-to-none. However, the riff being present in a rap song does nothing to tarnish Float On. In fact, the new song only provoked me to find and download Float On again.

    This blog post wreaks of prejudice. And your inability to accept the facts, admit the error, and amend the content of the original blog post is – best said by yourself, really – “shameless”.

    -Greg

  4. Listen, I don’t know who the douchebag is but this Lupe guy is an obvious Dickhead, which is obvious how he interacts with the two interviewers. “Float on” is such a great song with that sing along feel to it, that Lupey would have had to work really hard and have some luck to go with it to make a sample/cover of it sound shitty. He succeeds brilliantly, and the luckiest mofo in the music business.

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