Writing Durrty: “Dead and Gone” vs. “I’m On a Boat”

Alright, we might be the last people on the face of the earth to make this connection, but did y’all know The Lonely Island’s “I’m on a Boat” ft. T-Pain is the same song as T.I’s “Dead and Gone” ft. Justin Timberlake?

It’s no surprise that Timberlake and the Lonely Island crew have a close working relationship dating back to December ’07 with “Dick in a Box.”  JT even made an appearance in the Island’s “Jizz in My Pants” video, the first single off the Island’s first album Incredibad.  I don’t think it’s out of line to speculate that Timberlake probably wrote that song, as well.  Well, at least the bridge that goes “I jizz in my pants every time you’re next to me / and when we’re holding hands it’s like having sex with me,” because that’s minor scale melody 101 that Timberlake gleaned off Timbaland after all those nights spent recording Justified.  Just listen to the “Are You that Somebody” breakdown during “Dead and Gone.”  Dude learned.

This afternoon, after listening to “I’m on a Boat” for like the whateverth time, I decided to play along on my Mexican Strat.  A minor, C, F, G.  Cool.  Then I’m going through top Youtube vids of the day and see that the song Timberlake and T.I. did for the Grammy’s is up so I clicked on that, and, um, it’s basically identical to “I’m on a Boat”.  “Dead and Gone” goes A minor, C, G, F, E, which is somewhat different, but Timberlake’s melody is very similar to T-Pain’s on the Lonely Island track.

I’m not making accusations of theft or plagiarism.  In fact, I’m doing just the opposite.  I’m saying JT is the Lou Perlman of the Lonely Island; he’s the Turkish dude, Ahmet, that worked with Ray Charles; he’s Anthony Anderson to Samberg’s Terrence Howard in Hustle and Flow.  Timberlake probably wrote that Rihanna song “Rehab,” too since it’s soaked with that “leftover from Justified” stank.

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