A new Youtube video, apparently recorded in 1996, has brought up the question of whether American Idol’s General Larry Platt ripped off the previously unknown Green Brothers with his song ‘Pants on the Ground’. I didn’t really find his Idol audition to be funny, but that’s beside the point. The question is, was this plagiarism? Here is that original video which was only posted on Youtube after Platt debuted his song.
I definitely see the similarities, but… Does it really matter? These guys created this slightly funny rap song in 1996. Since then they have apparently done just about nothing with it. They never presented it in such a way to make it all that viewable. General Platt, however, found the opportunity to take the same concept and do something with it. Is that plagiarism? I do not think so. Was Taylor Swift’s ‘Love Story’ plagiarism? She took William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet concept and transformed it into something that would work for her. Of course it wasn’t plagiarism. Platt’s version of this song is not nearly as lyrically clever, musically sound or well-produced. So really, all it is is the same concept. If he wanted to rip them off he could have taken some of their lines. It’s not his fault that the Green Brothers never cemented themselves as the originators of the concept.