Last week, news got out that music industry powerhouse Taylor Swift had trademarked the phrase “This Sick Beat,” the title of one of her songs on her quadruple platinum album 1989. That didn’t sit well with many, including musician Ben Norton, who made a frenetic metal protest song about it. The song, of course titled “This Sick Beat,” was recorded under the name Peculate, and features only three words – you can pretty much guess what they are. Since then, the two-minute song has gone relatively viral, getting over 43,000 views since it was put up this past Saturday (31). It’s surprisingly good for something that was undoubtedly done as a lark in hours instead of days. Norton spoke to Billboard about it:
“Trademarks are a direct attack on one of the most fundamental and inalienable rights of all: our freedom of speech,” the American artist writes. “If you give the bourgeoisie an inch, they will take a mile… and everything else you have in the process. They have already privatized land, water, and words. After language, they will next try to privatize air. But, although the rich can try, they will never truly own the words we use and the language we speak.”
Norton has left a much longer explanation and statement behind “This Sick Beat” on his website. Elsewhere, on the YouTube page for the video, he explains that the phrase “This Sick Beat” isn’t officially trademarked yet. Swift applied for the trademarks back in October, and they haven’t been approved yet. So while Norton is kind of an activist by recording the song, the Taylor Swift camp hasn’t responded yet, as they’re probably too busy rolling around in money.