According to TMZ, Michael May - who performs under the name Flourgon - has claimed that Miley stole "unique and creative lyrical phraseology in order to establish an overarching and pervasive theme.in the realm of self-discovery and self-governings".
May said in the suit that Cyrus' song took "about 50 percent" from his song, including musical elements and the phrase, "We run things / Things no run we". In addition, his lawyers claimed that "We Can't Stop" features a "substantially similar hook" and specifically cited the lyrics, "We run things, things don't run we".
He claims his 1988 hit has been "a favorite for lovers of reggae music worldwide" for three decades now, and Miley's million-seller "owes the basis of its chart-topping popularity to and its highly-lucrative success to plaintiff May's protected, unique, creative and original content". The song peaked at No. 2 on Billboard Hot 100 despite receiving mixed reviews from music critics.
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Compare Cyrus' We Can't Stop above to Flourgon's We Run Things below.
May said he sought to protect his work a year ago with the U.S. Copyright Office, and in November won "formal copyright protection" for all musical arrangements in "We Run Things". May also is aiming to halt performance and distribution of "We Can't Stop", and seeking a trial by jury for the case. Listen to both songs below and judge the alleged similarities for yourself.