Taylor Swift Says She Never Heard Of 3LW Before “Shake It Off” Lawsuit

Taylor Swift said “Shake It Off” was “written entirely by me” after she was accused of stealing lyrics from 3LW’s “Players Gon’ Play.”

BYAron A.
Taylor Swift Says She Never Heard Of 3LW Before “Shake It Off” Lawsuit

Taylor Swift fired back at claims that she stole lyrics from 3LW to create her hit single, "Shake It Off." According to USA Today, the pop star responded to the copyright lawsuit filed by Nathan Butler and Sean Hall, the songwriters behind 3LW's 2000 record, "Playas Gon' Play," who claimed Swift stole lyrics from the record for her hit single.

Taylor Swift Says She Never Heard Of 3LW Before "Shake It Off" Lawsuit
Kevin Kane/Getty Images

In her new response to the lawsuit, which she filed on Monday, Swift said the lyrics to the song "were written entirely by me." She also claimed that she never heard of 3LW prior to 2017, when she was initially sued. "Until learning about Plaintiffs’ claim in 2017, I had never heard the song 'Playas Gon’ Play' and had never heard of that song or the group 3LW," she said. Additionally, she said she wasn't allowed to watch MTV's Total Request Live until she was 13 years old. 3LW's "Playas Gon' Play" dropped three years earlier, when Swift was 10.

"I do not recall listening to any specific radio stations during that time, but when I listened to radio it was generally country music. I did not watch the MTV show 'TRL,' and I did not go to clubs during this time," Swift said. "The lyrics to 'Shake It Off' also draw from commonly used phrases and comments heard throughout my life. Prior to writing 'Shake It Off' I had heard the phrases 'players gonna play' and 'haters gonna hate' uttered countless times."

Taylor added that the song's inspiration came from the "unrelenting public scrutiny of my personal life, 'clickbait' reporting, public manipulation, and other forms of negative personal criticism."

"With 'Shake It Off,' I wanted to provide a comedic, empowering approach to helping people feel better about negative criticism through music, dance, and the personal independence enabling one to just shake off the negative criticism," she added. 

Taylor Swift Says She Never Heard Of 3LW Before "Shake It Off" Lawsuit
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Butler and Hall claimed that one part of Swift's "Shake It Off" ("Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play/And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate") infringed on 3LW's "Playas Gon' Play" ("The playas gon' play/Them haters gonna hate" & "Playas, they gonna play/And haters, they gonna hate").

The case against Taylor Swift has gone in and out of court. A first lawsuit was filed in 2017 before a judge dismissed it the following year because the claims were "too." Eventually, it was re-introduced to court, and Swift was denied her request to dismiss the suit since the judge felt there were "enough objective similarities."

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About The Author
Aron A. is a features editor for HotNewHipHop. Beginning his tenure at HotNewHipHop in July 2017, he has comprehensively documented the biggest stories in the culture over the past few years. Throughout his time, Aron’s helped introduce a number of buzzing up-and-coming artists to our audience, identifying regional trends and highlighting hip-hop from across the globe. As a Canadian-based music journalist, he has also made a concerted effort to put spotlights on artists hailing from North of the border as part of Rise & Grind, the weekly interview series that he created and launched in 2021. Aron also broke a number of stories through his extensive interviews with beloved figures in the culture. These include industry vets (Quality Control co-founder Kevin "Coach K" Lee, Wayno Clark), definitive producers (DJ Paul, Hit-Boy, Zaytoven), cultural disruptors (Soulja Boy), lyrical heavyweights (Pusha T, Styles P, Danny Brown), cultural pioneers (Dapper Dan, Big Daddy Kane), and the next generation of stars (Lil Durk, Latto, Fivio Foreign, Denzel Curry). Aron also penned cover stories with the likes of Rick Ross, Central Cee, Moneybagg Yo, Vince Staples, and Bobby Shmurda.