Beyonce and Big Freedia sued over words "release" and "wiggle"

If you're not familiar with New Orleans bounce, one of the best, if not the greatest subgenres of dance music to go absolutely wild to, start studying now. The test is tomorrow and if you don't pass, you'll never be able to dance again! That's just how the curse works, I'm sorry!

As original and distinct as the genre is, it's very regionally specific, so there's a lot of overlap and reference within the genre. Plenty of bounce tracks feature references and samples to other songs. Typically, it's an homage or included in appreciation of some sort. But when Big Freedia, the most famous bounce musician gets involved, and then Beyonce gets added to the lineup, well…

Da Showstoppaz, a bounce group from the early 00's, is accusing Big Freedia, and in turn Beyonce, who sampled Big Freedia, of plagiarism of the phrase "release yo wiggle", which they claim is interchangeable with their "release a wiggle" line.

The original's a great, classic bounce track. If you'd like to do some detective work of your own (and break a sweat), give it a listen.

Though the claim isn't over a sample, it's over the words "release" and "wiggle", in that order, let's listen to Big Freedia's interpretation and continue the workout.

And finally, Beyonce

While this may seem like a bit of a reach, there's actually some substantial evidence in the plaintiff's favor.

"Release a Wiggle" appeared on a mixtape called "Fire On Da Bayou Vol. 1" that was released by Black House Entertainment. The suit says this was the first time the phrases "release a wiggle" and "release ya wiggle" had ever appeared on a commercially available recording.

[…]A decade later, on March 2, 2014, Bourgeois uploaded "Release a Wiggle" to her YouTube channel, which she used primarily to showcase tips about makeup and wigs.

On June 17, 2014, Freedia's major-label debut album, "Just Be Free," dropped; it featured "Explode" and its "wiggle" reference.

Earlier Freedia recordings had appeared on a Black House Entertainment compilation, so Freedia was likely to have heard Da Showstoppaz's "Release a Wiggle," the suit contends.

Keith Spera,

If the four plaintiffs are successful, it may affect copyright law in the future. It would also  theoretically net them a hefty sum of cash.