Taylor Swift in the official video for ‘Shake it Off’; Photo: YouTube/Big Machine Records


A pair of R&B songwriters from the early oughts, Sean Hall and Nathan Butler, are not interested in ‘getting down to this sick beat’ on Taylor Swift‘s “Shake it Off.”

The two have filed a lawsuit over the lyrical similarities between Swift’s notorious ‘haters gonna hate’ pop nugget smash and their song “Playas Gon’ Play,” reports Billboard.

Hall and Butler want 20% of a songwriting credit on “Shake it Off,” saying she took the phrase from their 2001 song performed by 3LW. The lawsuit also lists Swift’s co-writers, Max Martin and Shellback, as well as Sony/ATV and Universal Music Group.

The songs sound nothing alike, but the choruses of each song definitely have similarities.

The “Shake it Off” chorus goes: [LISTEN]

‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, baby
I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off

While the “Playas Gon’ Play” hook goes: [LISTEN]

Playas, they gonna play
And haters, they gonna hate
Ballers, they gonna ball
Shot callers, they gonna call
That ain’t got nothin’ to do
With me and you
That’s the way it is
That’s the way it is

Hall and Butler’s attorney explained the similar structures in the lawsuit.

“The combination of playas/players playing along with hatas/haters hating may seem like common parlance today, however, in 2001 it was completely original and unique,” he said, noting that Swift’s song also follows a four-part lyrical sequence that switches “callers” and “ballers” with “heartbreakers” and “fakers.”

Swift’s camp responded to these allegations.

“This is a ridiculous claim and nothing more than a money grab,” said a representative of Swift’s. “The law is simple and clear. They do not have a case.”

For Hall and Butler to win, they have to prove the two songs are “strikingly similar” to each other, which will be difficult because the lyrics aren’t the same and the musical parts sound nothing alike.

This isn’t the first time “Shake It Off” has faced a lawsuit. In 2015, Swift won a case against Jesse Braham, who said she lifted the song’s hook from his song “Haters Gone Hate.” Braham was asking for $42 million.

“If I didn’t write the song ‘Haters Gone Hate,’ there wouldn’t be a song called ‘Shake It Off,’” Braham said.  

Listen to the two songs and judge for yourself, below.