January 18, 2013


Did 'Glee' Rip Off Geek Rocker Jonathan Coulton?

C Brandon
C Brandon

Remember back in the mid-2000s when nerdy white dudes were posting ironic acoustic covers of rap songs on the Internet to resounding ROFLs and LOLs? Well, Fox's juggernaut high school musical Glee just got wind of that trend and delivered a "hilarious" stripped-down cover of Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back." Topical!

The only problem—aside from Ryan Murphy being late to the irony party—is that Glee seemingly lifted the acoustic arrangement for their cover from geek rock hero Jonathan Coulton's 2005 version of the ass-centric song. 

When the cover leaked online—it still hasn't been posted by Glee's official YouTube page—Coulton immediately noticed the similarities. "Hey look, @GLEEonFOX ripped off my cover of 'Baby Got Back,'" Coutlon tweeted. "Never even contacted me. Classy."

Now before you think, 'Hey, can you even rip off a cover?,' take a listen to both versions below. Coulton's "Baby Got Back" features guitar work and switched-up lyrics that are his unique additions to Sir Mix-A-Lot's original. And strangely enough, the Glee cover uses a guitar arrangement eerily similar (and arguably identical) to Coulton's. Plus, it includes his altered lyrics: The cast sings "Johnny C's in trouble" instead of "Sir Mix-A-Lot's in trouble." Busted?

In Glee's defense, Coulton noted this cover may not actually appear in the series. So far, the unofficial Glee Wiki is the only source that says "Baby Got Back" will appear in an upcoming episode. So maybe this is just a big misunderstanding. Or a plot hatched by Sir Mix-A-Lot to bring "Baby Got Back" out of junior prom-hell and back into the public consciousness.

Glee Cast - "Baby Got Back"

Jonathan Coulton - "Baby Got Back"