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Overview of the incident that SM plagiarized Big Hit’s music: NCT DREAM side took TXT’s beat, but what song exactly?

Netizens think that the only reason why SM plagiarized music but can quietly solve it is that Big Hit didn’t make a big deal out of it.

SM Entertainment is famous as a pioneering and creative company in Kpop; even many people jokingly call this company a ‘sample book,’  a ‘textbook’ for other entertainment companies. However, perhaps that is a story of the past when in recent years, SM has been known for its ideas of plagiarism.

While the controversy of aespa’s concept photos has not been resolved, SM recently became a hot topic when netizens discovered that they plagiarized Big Hit’s music – more specifically, the case of NCT DREAM and TXT. The two songs mentioned here are NCT DREAM‘s ‘Countdown (3, 2, 1)’ and TXT’s ‘Angel or Devil.’

(Note that there is currently information about TXT’s ‘Blue Orangeade,’  which will be explained below.)

Big Hit and SM

Suspicion begins with ‘Countdown (3, 2, 1)’ and ‘Angel or Devil’

NCT DREAM’s song ‘Countdown (3, 2, 1)’ is a b-side track included in their first full album ‘Hot Sauce’, which was released in May 2021. After NCT DREAM’s song was released, some Big Hit fans suspected that this song “borrowed” a beat of the song ‘Angel or Devil’ performed by TXT. TXT’s song is on the album ‘The Dream Chapter: Magic’ released in 2019, so there are people who believe that SM has plagiarized Big Hit’s music.

However, these speculations did not become a hot topic online, the reason being that both TXT and NCT DREAM’s songs were just b-sides and less known. At that time, many SM fans insisted that there was no plagiarism here, but just a random similarity in the beat of the two songs.

SM’s silently solved the problem but accidentally claimed to have plagiarism

Sadly for SM, this company has accidentally betrayed the trust of fans by silently adding the names of two famous Big Hit producers, Slow Rabbit, and Supreme Boi, on the credits of NCT DREAM’s song ‘Countdown (3, 2, 1)’. These are also the two producers who produced the song ‘Angel or Devil’ by TXT.

This incident has been discovered by many TXT fans and Big Hit fans since early September 2021.  Accordingly, the original credits of the song ‘Countdown (3, 2, 1)’ certainly did not have the names of the two Big Hit producers (and in fact, there was no reason for this company’s exclusive producer to write music for SM idols). If we check the initial information such as KBS censored files, NCT DREAM official album credits, and credits on many other news sites…. we can’t see the names of Slow Rabbit and Supreme Boi.

Slow Rabbit and Supreme Boi were later added to the credits of the song ‘Countdown (3, 2, 1)’ in all possible sources, including the music copyright site KOMCA. All related official videos and other music sources have also been edited in the same way.

On Youtube Music and on all other editable sources (except for printed albums, which cannot be changed)
On Youtube Music and on all other editable sources (except for printed albums, which cannot be changed)

These things are done in secret, which confirmed that NCT DREAM’s song plagiarized the Big Hit producer’s beat. Likely, SM has simply done what they usually do when being accused of plagiarism: negotiated with the original’s owner. Fortunately, Big Hit’s producer agreed to an amicable settlement and agreed to let SM add their name to the music copyright. 

Why is there a controversy regarding producer Moonshine and TXT’s ‘Blue Orangeade’?

This incident has been known to netizens for a quite long time, but it has only recently become a hot topic on online forums. However, many people mistakenly believe that NCT DREAM’s song is a plagiarized version of TXT’s ‘Blue Orangeade’ (rather than ‘Angel or Devil’). However, if you listen to the video below that compares the three songs, you’ll notice that ‘Countdown (3, 2, 1)’ sounds more like ‘Angel or Devil.’

It is said that dragging the song ‘Blue Orangeade’ will easily lead to concept swapping. The reason for this is that producer Moonshine participated in the creation of both ‘Blue Orangeade’ and ‘Countdown (3, 2, 1)’. As a result, many speculated that this person worked with Slow Rabbit to write this song for NCT DREAM.

 Credit for the song 'Blue Orangeade' by TXT. 
Credit for the song ‘Blue Orangeade’ by TXT.   

However, this is an unreasonable speculation because the song that was plagiarized in this case must be ‘Angel or Devil,’ which does not feature Moonshine at all. So, at this point, it’s safe to say that SM realized they’d made a serious mistake and had to rush to add Big Hit’s producer name to the credits before the controversy goes too far.

Credit for the song ‘Angel or Devil' by TXT. 
Credit for the song ‘Angel or Devil’ by TXT. 

Anyway, netizens think that SM’s solution is unacceptable. 

Some comments from Knets:

  • SM, why do you always steal and use other people’s ideas?ㅋㅋㅋㅋ
  • SM is just a plagiarism company, they can’t do anything if they don’t plagiarize
  • I thought only Aespa plagiarized, but NCT also plagiarized. Looks like it’s SM’s tradition
  • SM plagiarized.. It’s a collaboration that no one wants
  • There are a lot of articles about SM’s plagiarism these days.. I wonder if it’s their tradition
  • Where are SM stans who always say SM’s music is the best?
  • Well, they plagiarized again? I’m not surprised anymore
  • SM likes the Chinese market and they also like to steal other people’s ideas like China ㅠㅠ
  • It’s totally SM’s habit, shouldn’t we boycott SM?
  • When it comes to plagiarism, it’s SM

Sources: tinnhac

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