Ospreyshire Origins: Ode to the Innovators

Lyrics:

Doctors, kings, educators, singers, and many more
Who dare to be outside hellish boxes deserved the praise for their endeavors
While history books may not have their names in stone, they shall be immortalized for future days
No more theft
No more exploitation
No more ignoring
This prayer shall extend to those daring to put dreams into practice
The world is certainly too heinous for its own good
And thieves will try to steal
They cannot take the originators in them
Dear Innovare…The souls of ignored pioneers shall be renowned
These archetypes shall be remembered
Forever and ever
So shall it be written
So shall it come to reality


Now, we conclude the Ospreyshire Origins posts in regards to Dear Innovare. This was a good amount of closure to this gigantic full-length album. This sums up so much, but I wanted it to end beautifully with some dream pop-esque sound textures with keyboards and ethereal acousmatics. I hope you appreciated this journey in learning about so many fields.

What was your favorite song? What did you like about this album?

Ospreyshire Origins: GTW: Granville Tailer Woods

Lyrics:

I’m not an Edison clone
The railroads were my domain
The damage in those fields were staggering, so I started with the telegraphony
Relayed messages ensured safety, wire by wire
Then Edison wanted credit for my work
How nice, I sued and beat him twice
He was on his knees begging me to work for him.
Nah, bruh
I kept my head up and crafted overhead lines to clear road traffic of cable cars
Automatic brakes, circuits, and egg incubators
Would become part of my repertoire
Although I would rest in an unmarked grave for sixty-five years
My name would be on streets and schools
I’m glad the afterlife wasn’t the end of the line for me

All aboard the originator’s express!


Third time is the charm. This is the third track from Dear Innovare that involves Edison ripping off someone and the second one involving an African-American inventor.

Granville Tailer Woods made several inventions with the telegraphony which was the first telephone/telegram hybrid for trains which drastically improved communications between cars. He made innovations in the third rail, egg incubators, and I even found out long after recording is that he had the archetype for the rollercoaster. Yes, Six Flags, Disney World/Disneyland, Universal Studios, and your favorite theme park owe something to this man! Edison actually plagiarized the telegraphony, so GTW sued him twice and WON against him. Oh, yeah. That actually happened. This is further proof that Tommy is nothing but an overrated hack. I didn’t know who GTW was until last year and that’s a shame on the educational system. If I learned about him during my childhood, I might have been an engineer by now and not be some artsy loser.

The picture of Granville Tailer Woods is from Famous Inventors.

Ospreyshire Origins: Pugnam Contra Fures Leonis Pt. II: The Queen Is False and Her Hive Is Deluded

Lyrics:

Such a naughty girl typical in copying imagery
Not from precambrian times, but from 2018
I wouldn’t blame your man or blaming fire
But your employers who were accomplices
It sucks to be you abducting the black house
While you call your vanity project a “gift”
Your daughter must be so proud of you
Your shame ya mobali ya mobali [Lingala for “To the right, to the right”]
Oh wait, you have none
You may be called a queen, but I see a phony
Keep thinking you’re a survivor

[Lingala]
Ozali mokonzi mwasi te
Ozali nkosi te
Ozali Nzambe te!


Welcome to part 2 of my Pugnam Contra Fures Leonis trilogy which is all about one of the biggest pieces of cat burglary, cinematic plagiarism, and cultural appropriation ever! This is actually the most recent example of this ravenous plagiarism. Shout-out to Inskidee for that term!

This song is about Yannick Illunga AKA Petite Noir. He’s a Belgium-born avant-pop musician of Congolese and Angolan descent who is based in Cape Town, South Africa. In 2018, he recorded an EP called La Maison Noir (The Black House) and released a long-form music video containing most of the songs, but adding a narrative and incorporating visuals from African culture. They filmed it straight in the Namib desert which covers his current home country and it’s next door neighbor Namibia. I think you might like this short musical of sorts.

Then one year later…Mickey Mouse happened to have a certain diva as an accomplice…

Image result for petite noir beyonce

LOOK OUT, BEYHIVE! I’M GOING TO BASH YOUR FAKE GODDESS AND THAT OVERRATED MOVIE FRANCHISE!!

Wow, just wow! The Petite Noir video was barely a year old before Disney and the former Destiny’s Child member managed to rip off his music video when the newest iteration of Nala decided to release her video for “Spirit” for the Lion King remake. Here are some images from both videos.

Beyonce

Do you honestly believe that Beyonce, Jake Nava, Jon Favreau, or anyone at Disney didn’t see the Petite Noir video? Do any of you think it’s some little coincidence that both videos would take place in the desert and have traditional African clothing in red and blue? Come on, people. This isn’t like “Mbube” or a certain Osamu Tezuka anime/manga series (we’ll get to that in a certain post!) which both predate the internet. This was from 20-freaking 18. This was stupid and the denial is just facepalm-worthy. JUST OWN UP TO IT! No, just because Beyonce had African musicians on her vanity project of a companion soundtrack doesn’t give her a right to steal from another musician from the continent. Also, notice how that album is called “The Lion King: The Gift” and the Petite Noir’s video is called “La Maison Noir: The Gift and The Curse“. Think about it! Here’s a good link about that plagiarism issue and some of the online reactions.

The song was an experimental acoustic-ish track, but I got to use effects to my mbira to give it an electric sound to it. I was listening to a ton of Konono No. 1 and Kasai Allstars before writing and recording, so that instrumental choice was highly influenced by them using amplified thumb pianos in most of their songs. Besides that, I use Petite Noir references and a bunch of Beyonce references in the lyrics. See if you spot them.

After this piece of thievery, we’re going to get to the big example of this plagiarism marathon. It will be hard not to have some pride in this work and in part 3, all you anime fans are going to love me even though you can guess what the last part will be about. :3

La Maison Noir: The Gift and the Curse is property of Petite Noir and Red Bull Music. The screenshot is from YouTube.

The Beyonce picture is from Timeslive.

The screenshot comparison is from WiseAfri. The La Maison Noir screenshots are property of Petite Noir and The Spirit screenshots are property of Disney.

Ospreyshire Origins: Pugnam Contra Fures Leonis Pt. I: The Uncrowned King of Johannesburg

Lyrics:
[Zulu]

Bass voice: Kumele adale
Baritone voice: Inkosi yethu izokwaziwa
Tenor voice: U-Linda ungumbali wangampela wengoma

Johannesburg was where the lion was born
It had a roar that shook the concert halls
Collective voices made sure no one slept
Only controlled by the uncrowned king

Ethnomusicologists stepped in
To colonize the canorous monarch’s song
That lion was poached as it reached stateside
Leaving the king without a cent to his name

What a token gesture that was thievery
New York and Burbank usurped his throne
His daughters were neglected by their greed
They had to keep that lion and king alive


We’ve got another song that involves South Africa and some Zulu lyrics much like “Lebombo”. Hooray! This also kicks off the first part of my Pugnam Contra Fures Leonis trilogy for Dear Innovare! Double Hooray! This song was an Ospreyshire first in creating a one-man acappela chamber choir song with no instruments and/or acousmatics! Triple Hooray all the way!

This song is an homage to South African musician Solomon Linda. He’s a beloved singer even to this day in that country. His biggest song was called “Mbube” which means “Lion” in the Zulu language. He invented a subgenre of South African choral music that’s named after that particular song and has been involved in that country’s Isicathamiya scene (just so you know, you’re supposed to click on the “c” when you pronounce the name of that acappella genre). Feel free to check it out!

That song got the attention of an American licensing company to take it stateside. First came Pete Seeger “adapting” the song into “wimoweh”.

Next came what became easily the best known form of covering. By covering, I mean total plagiarism. Everyone should know the biggest rip-off version by now if you didn’t figure it out from the original “Mbube” song.

Solomon Linda died before The Tokens did their stolen version of his song. To make matters worse, he died penniless and his family lived in poverty long after his passing. The surviving family members struggled and wondered why they didn’t get money from Solomon’s song. Then in 1994, there was this big animated movie that would be the straw that broke the camel’s back especially with two characters.

Image result for the lion sleeps tonight

Seriously, screw Disney. The Lion King was able to rake in over $15 million in royalties from “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” and that’s not even counting the Broadway version. The Linda family with the help of journalist Rian Malan and the South African government sued the American licensing company and Disney for plagiarism in the 00s. This issue was shown in the 2019 Netflix documentary called The Lion’s Share which I actually reviewed on Iridium Eye. I don’t want to spoil the case and all the details that went into it, but Disney STILL never credited Solomon Linda and the “Mbube” song in the Lion King remake!

This rampant plagiarism, cultural appropriation, and bastardization of Africa makes my blood boil, but I’m not done yet.

We still have two more songs that deals with other aspects of the cat burglary coup of the century. Yes, I just referenced the biggest villain clone ever, but it was way too appropriate.

The picture of Solomon Linda is from Change.

The Lion King is property of Disney. The image of Timon and Pumbaa is from Financial Times and is property of Disney.

Ospreyshire Origins: Cameroonian Originality March

Lyrics:

Attention!

[French]
Nous avons des vautours de la culture a venir!
Notre musique est attaquee!
Marche en avant!
Oui, monsieur!

Barnwell, Baranquilla, Gary, Portsmouth
We’re coming for all of you
Your status as godfathers, hip shakers, kings, and misdemeanors
Have nothing on us
We’ll keep marching on (X2)

[French]
Nous devon securiser le berceau de nos ancetres (de nos ancetres) [X4]

What do we want? (Our original tunes!)
When do we want them? (Right now!)
(X4)


Before I get to talking about this song and what inspired me, I would like to give major props to my Cameroonian blogger friend Dr. Y from Afrolegends. He’s been awesome in making high quality posts for over a decade about African history, culture, news, trivia, proverbs, and then some. Dr. Y was able to educate me about some of the musicians from his home country and even gave me some nuggets about plagiarism cases involving their musicians.

Not going to lie, Cameroon has some great artists. I got into Mr. Leo’s music last year, been listening to some Salatiel (I knew who he was before he was a part of THAT companion soundtrack), and more recently Tim & Foty who are part of the topic of this song. I also wanted the song to have a balance between French and English lyrics to represent unity in that country given some of the issues going on with those communities based on those languages. There have been four high profile songs straight out of this Central African nation. Prepare your ears because some of these songs are going to sound familiar to you.

Exhibit A: “Zamina mina (Zangal√©wa)” by Golden Sounds

Exhibit B: “Soul Makossa” by Manu Dibango

Exhibit C: “Hot Koki” by Andre-Marie Tala

Exhibit D: “Douala by Night” by JM Tim and Foty

Doesn’t Cameroon have a lively music scene? Did you also think some of those songs sounded familiar? It would certainly be a shame if a Colombian and some Americans were to steal them.

Yes, that happened and I’m going to correlate each rip-off song to their respective originals.

Shakira stole from Golden Sounds:

Michael Jackson stole from Manu Dipango:

James Brown stole from Andre-Marie Tala:

Missy Elliott, Method Man and Redman stole from Tim & Foty:

All of this came from one country. Some of your favorite artists are musical robbers, so deal with it. This blew my mind and I have Dr. Y to thank when it came to the Shakira and James Brown issues before discovering the rest on my own. Unbelievable, and Cameroon deserves so much better and not just because of some of their current issues right now.

Besides that, I wanted that marching vibe like the “Zangelewa” song, but completely different chords and instrumentation with the Omnichord with hand percussion. This is homage and at least I acknowledge MY inspirations.

The Cameroonian flag picture is from Flags of the World.

Ospreyshire Origins: I, Axum

Lyrics:

Were the invaders fascinated by my beauty?
I stood tall in this living city
My creators took care of me every step of the way
Its a shame they never foretold of my destruction and abduction
While my homeland was never colonized, I was taken defiled, and cloned
I’m disgusted by my inferior leaning tall north of me
My people…rescue and reconstruct me
The world must know I exist
May the originator give me renown despite my obscure state


I got something for the architects and for those that respect African culture. This is going to be something I guarantee you never learned about in school.

This is the Obelisk of Axum in the Ethiopian town of the same name. This tower has been around in one of the oldest nation’s in the world since the 4th century AD. For centuries, this obelisk has been in the Horn of Africa, but unfortunately it became damaged and stolen. Even though Ethiopia is the only country in Africa never to have been colonized, Italy tried to claim that nation through warfare after they got Eritrea no thanks to the Berlin conference.

I didn’t know about this obelisk until I watched the documentary Unjust Perceptions: Ethiopia where they go to a museum and see a picture of it. Think about what I said about Ethiopia and Italy. Phil (the American who’s visiting Ethiopia) looks at the picture and the first thing he says is “That looks like the Leaning Tower of Pisa.” and the tour guide gives him a lesson…

Image result for leaning tower of pisa

Long story short:¬† Italy stole a bunch of things including the design of the Obelisk of Axum. The Ethiopian government did their best for years to sue the Italian government to get their culture back and they eventually got the parts of the Obelisk to bring it back home and they’re reconstructing it as we speak. This was jaw-dropping for me and I never realized how that famous building ripped off something from Africa. In the song, I speak in a feminine voice and I use metaphors of the colonizers raping and assaulting the original culture to drive the point home as uncomfortable as it is. The percussion is even based on Ethiopian and Eritrean drum patterns that I’ve noticed in both traditional and pop music from that part of the world. Much like my Art Theft pieces, this is just a sickening display of colonization even though Italy didn’t take over the Abyssinian nation.

Just think twice whenever you see that tower.

The picture of the Obelisk of Axum is from International Travel News.

The picture of the Leaning Tower of Pisa is from Britannica.

Unjust Perceptions: Ethiopia is property of African Diaspora News Channel.

Ospreyshire Origins: Halstead’s Trophy

Lyrics:

I no longer wanted to be down
After you took my crown and cashed it in for millions of pounds
So shamelessly

I had to strengthen my heart
To withstand all your darts that multiplied from the start
Of your thievery

Originator be my guide
May justice be on my side
Halstead will be filled with pride with the trophy that’s rightfully mine

You think you can do what you will
I made you admit your guilt
How does it make you feel that you’re forced to know my name?

Take a picture now (X6)
To immortalize your shame


Do you want to know what can really suck about plagiarism cases? It can force me to actually defend mainstream pop stars on certain occasions when I would never do so otherwise.

This is one of those times.

Meet Matt Cardle. He’s an acoustic pop singer/songwriter hailing from Halstead, Essex, England. Yes, the name of the song refers to his hometown. Cardle has been quite popular in the UK even though he’s unknown in America. He got his big break after winning on X Factor, so he certainly has several ears throughout Good Ol’ Blighty. He had a song on his first album called “Amazing” which was a minor hit in the UK back in 2011. Wouldn’t it be crazy if another Brit were to steal his song? Whoever could it be?

THIS GUY!

Image result for ed sheeran

That’s right. Ed Sheeran stole someone else’s song! That is just annoying since his fanbase defended him and called Matt Cardle some nobody. Sure, Matt Cardle doesn’t have as much of a worldwide popularity as the Ipswitch-based pop star, but I wouldn’t call him obscure especially when it comes to English music. Matt Cardle has sold over 2 million records, has been on major labels even to this day, and like I said earlier: he’s an X Factor winner and I know that show is popular in the United Kingdom. Here’s some more context. Do you want to know who Matt Cardle beat out in the finals of X Factor in the same season he won it? Cher Lloyd and this one boy band that no one’s heard of called ONE DIRECTION! Yeah, think about that for a minute.

In case you’re wondering, the song that ripped off “Amazing” is “Photograph”. Sure, it wasn’t as big of a hit in America compared to “Sing” or “Thinking Out Loud” which were on the same album, but I know I heard that song playing on the radio whenever I was shopping or eating at some restaurants. To be just, the verses themselves are independent, but those choruses…WOW, Ed didn’t even try besides having different lyrics. Here’s a video of both song’s choruses and tell me he didn’t listen to this Essex crooner’s song!

Matt Cardle’s co-writers/producers actually sued Ed Sheeran and the beat him down in court! Sheeran was forced to give writing credits and royalties to everyone involved who made “Amazing”. Good on them for doing that. I never thought I would have to defend someone who won a freaking music reality show, but that was the day.

Much like both songs, I decided to do a light acoustic ballad, but with my ukulele as a main instrument and I got to use my “pop star” voice which is a rarity as Ospreyshire for obvious reasons. I hope you also appreciate the stealth puns with both songs in Halstead’s Trophy.

You’re welcome, Essex!

The album cover of Matt Cardle is from Wikipedia and is property of Syco music.

The photo of Ed Sheeran is from The Independent.

Ospreyshire Origins: Annie Minerva Turnbo Malone

Lyrics:
Madame CJ Walker, you weren’t the first lady of that honor
You were a former client of her
From Metropolis, Illinois to St. Louis, then to the Second City was the first beauty expert of her time
Hair, face, hands
All became better with Malone’s expertise for those with melanin
She built a college just for cosmetology
Despite $14 million in her prime, you stole those formulas
Women of all colors benefited from the Poro Brand
CJ…or is it Sarah?
You’d be nothing without Annie
She lost her business, but she won’t be lost in history anymore

No woman can be attractive
Without a beautiful complexion and an innovative mind


That’s right, everyone. Madame CJ Walker was NOT the first African-American female millionaire!

The first was none other than Annie Malone hailing from the tiny Southern Illinois town of Metropolis. She was an entrepreneur who started her own beauty and personal care business with the Poro company. Malone made so many products for different uses and she eventually opened her own cosmetology which also made her the first black owner and founder of a beauty school in America. She was charitable, opened a community center for the youth, and helped out her neighborhoods when she lived in Chicago. Unfortunately, Walker literally stole Poro formulas and made her own business, became rich, and more popular than Malone which is so tragic. I doubt they’re going to talk about that in that upcoming CJ Walker movie with Octavia Spencer.

Annie, even though I could care less about the beauty industry (the fact I have a Y chromosome is certainly the biggest reason why), but I respect you for doing for self and for giving back to the community. You deserved so much better.

I would like to give major props to Kreb for introducing me to this beauty pioneer on one of his blog posts. Dude, you’re great and I learned a ton from this post and others from you.

Fun fact about her birthplace: Metropolis is the only town of that namesake in America and it became the “official” hometown of the Superman character. There’s a museum of Superman in that town and the real life Metropolis, IL was even featured in a comic issue where Supes actually has to save it from danger. Also, this would make me second only to Sufjan Stevens who namedropped that town in a song. Hahaha!

The picture of Annie Malone is from The Freeman Institute.

Ospreyshire Origins: About A Benjamin III: Boardley, not Bradley

Lyrics:
I didn’t care anymore how my last name was spelled after my time on earth
Just know that I was an innovator people haven’t heard of
My family and I were in bondage in the Old Line State
Whenever I could, I’d learn from the children of my captors
That education would come to use
Printer offices and the Naval Academy would see my intellect
Too bad my captors got most of my pay
My greatest achievement involved gun barrels, pewter, steel, and random junk
With this mechanical trash came the first steam engine
My patent was denied even when my brainchild bought my family’s freedom
Don’t deny my innovations

By the way, steampunks. You’re ever so welcome.


This concludes my About A Benjamin trilogy on my Dear Innovare album. This final entry involves Benjamin Bradley. Excuse me…Benjamin Boardley. I will address him as such because his name was misspelled on the various texts and history books, so I want to get his name right. Mr. Boardley over here was a former slave from Maryland who would eventually help in that state’s naval academy while inventing things. His biggest invention was the steam engine. That was a MASSIVE innovation at the time which made so many vehicles and machinery more powerful for decades until petroleum would take over. Think about it, so many inventions spun out of just one engine that he created. Much like other tracks, he wasn’t allowed to patent his innovative engine due to the color of his skin (while others tried to steal his invention in the process), but he was able to use the sales of his engine to buy the rest of the Boardleys away from slavery which is very admirable. Benjamin Boardley is a man worth respecting.

That last line of the track is totally a dig against that subculture. How ironic that so many stories utilizing that aesthetic involve a majority or totally of white characters, but their environments were built around the inventions of a black man. Let that sink in, people. Know your roots even when it comes to fiction.

The picture of Benjamin Boardley (not Bradley) is from Recovery Team.

Ospreyshire Origins: Scraping for Blanched Crops

Lyrics:

There was always a lie
That someone of my complexion never invented anything
They surely never met me
I was known only as Ned
I created the cotton scraper
Much like how my master took humans like me, he took my invention
So, Stewart. How did you come up with my scraper again?
Even the patent office rejected you again and again
You’re so typical in your laziness
When I cried, sweated, and bled more than you could imagine


This would certainly count for a good portion of the previous tracks on Dear Innovare, but this is still a good way to honor an unknown inventor to kick off Black History Month!

Even though he would only be known by the name “Ned”, I’m still going to give him credit and recognition when most people won’t. Ned was a slave who invented a cotton scraper. Think about it, cotton was king in the south which made the plantation owners multi-millionaires. Too bad their lazy butts couldn’t innovate let alone work on their own, so guess who had to do everything and not get the credit? His captor Stewart literally stole Ned’s idea and tried to patent it himself. This was during the time where black people couldn’t patent anything legally in America (expect this to be a common motif), but Stewart couldn’t prove that he invented this money-making machine. Shame how much money was denied for Ned who was the REAL inventor of that agricultural device.

Here’s a fun fact about recording: I actually used a fork to scrape against a vent for the acousmatics.