American rapper T-Pain is caught in a plagiarism row over his latest song, That’s Yo Money, a recurring flute melody in which is uncannily similar to the hit Hindi song Tum Hi Ho from Aashiqui 2 (2013).
The song, which was released on December 13, has been pulled off T-Pain’s official YouTube channel after T-Series, which owns the rights to Tum Hi Ho, complained of copyright infringement, Mumbai Mirror reported. That’s Yo Money can still be found on channels of other YouTube users and on streaming websites.
In a tweet on Saturday, T-Pain said he had not developed the tune and had got it from the song’s producer (Bishop Jones). The “labels will be in contact”, he said.
The controversy has also snowballed into a Twitter feud between T-Pain and some Indian Twitter users. The rapper said that he was being trolled by “brown twitter” over his song and shared a racist and abusive post he had received from a Twitter user who claimed to be Indian. That account has since been suspended.
The alleged plagiarism was spotted by social media users soon after T-Pain released his song on December 13. Tum Hi Ho composer Mithoon then tweeted to T-Pain about it and said that “the [music] label is looking into this.”
Mithoon told Mumbai Mirror that T-Series was planning to take legal action.
The romantic ballad, from Shraddha Kapoor and Aditya Roy Kapur-starrer Aashiqui 2, was one of the biggest Bollywood hits of 2013. The song had vocals by Arjijit Singh, who would go on to become a staple in Hindi cinema soundtracks.
This is the second time that T-Series has been drawn into a international social media battle. The record label and film production house has also been in a long-running feud with Swedish internet celebrity PewDiePie over their YouTube followers. PewDiePie’s is the most followed YouTube channel, followed by T-Series.