Rita Ora Wants To Remake “Lady Marmalade” With Miley & Iggy, And I Just Want Today’s Artists To Be Original

October 12, 2015  |  


In case you missed the horrifying news, Roc Nation singer Rita Ora told UK’s The Sun that she is dead serious about doing a “Lady Marmalade” remake. Or to be specific, a remake of the 2001 remake that featured Christina Aguilera, Mya, P!nk and Lil’ Kim. But this version will be paler than ever:

“It’s always been my goal to create another ‘Lady Marmalade.’ I’m trying to round up the troops – I think it would be me, Miley [Cyrus], Charlie XCX – she’d be fun – and Iggy [Azalea].”

Someone cue in the timeless video of Bishop Bullwinkle singing “Hell Naw…(to the naw naw naw).” Because that’s exactly what I thought when I heard this story.

Well, that’s not all I thought. As I ranted to my coworker for about five minutes straight, I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired of the lack of originality from today’s musicians. Ora wants to remake a remake? Because that’s what the game has been waiting for, right?


Probably because those at her label haven’t allowed her to put out many songs that don’t include a sample or a feature of some sort. Basically, they won’t allow her talent stand on its own, so she doesn’t know how to be original.

For example, one of her first songs, “R.I.P.,” is a sample of Nneka’s “Heartbeat.” In fact, “R.I.P., written by Drake, was originally intended for Rihanna, who gave it a hard pass. “How We Do“? A sample of Notorious B.I.G.’s “Party and Bullsh*t.” And sadly, when she first came out, even Ora’s image was deemed a rip of a variety of pop artists (Rihanna and Beyoncé, with a side of Jennifer Lopez). It’s a shame because behind all the attempts to make her into other pop stars, and the catalog of sampled hits, Ora has a pretty good voice. But she’s not alone in the struggle of artists today to be and sound original.

Everyone seems to go the easy route. Listening to a playlist on Spotify, it was brought to my attention that two of Trey Songz’s recent hits, “Na Na” and “About You,” are as catchy as they are because of samples: “Fu-Gee-La” by The Fugees and Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” (though his sample sounds a lot more like Janet Jackson’s “Son of a Gun,” which also took on Simon’s classic song).

Jeremih’s “Don’t Tell ‘Em” was a hit because its melody was a re-recorded version of “Rhythm is a Dancer” by SNAP! And his new song, “The Fix” with Nelly? A sample of Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing.” You would think after Robin Thicke had his checks snatched over “Blurred Lines,” folks would leave Marvin Gaye’s music alone.

And while samples and interpolations became a mainstay in the ’90s (see SWV’s timeless “Human Nature” mix of “Right Here” or Bad Boy remixes), now they’re pretty much everywhere. From R&B to EDM pop. Like the trash EDM song “Pure Grinding” I heard today on MTV Hits that, for no reason, sampled Crystal Waters’s “100% Pure Love“: “100 percent, pure griiiiiind.”

Again, why?

Every time I hear a new song, I quickly realize that it’s not new after all. Beats are even recycled to hell. I can no longer enjoy Jidenna’s “Classic Man” the way I used to now that I realize its beat was pulled from Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy.”

What catches my ear nowadays always reminds me of something I’ve already heard time and time again. The remakes bore me, and I’m left with a funky taste in my mouth. Feeling like it would make the most sense for me to to just listen to my oldies (but goodies), since that’s the sound everyone is going for anyway.

And while they say that imitation is the highest form of flattery, I think it’s a sign of a lack of creativity. Too many artists are solely focused on being in the public eye and being a brand that their music comes second. They put out any and everything that will generate buzz. Half the time they don’t write it, and because they’re too afraid to step out of the spotlight to live life and find inspiration due to fear that they will be forgotten (lack of talent does that), they put out crap to simply whet the appetite of fans. They sample some classics and serve it up as something new.

But I think we can all agree that those who step away for some time to focus on perfecting their craft and having a life away from the cameras always come back with the best, most original stuff. That’s why after all these years, Janet Jackson could still score a No. 1 album. Why people are asking Missy, Adele, Maxwell, Frank Ocean and other originators to hurry up and release new music. Why J. Cole could have the highest-selling hip-hop album of 2014 with no features and no promotion. And why D’Angelo, who doesn’t even really have social media and would rather stay ghost, had social media buzzing when he unexpectedly released Black Messiah last December. 

But for every unique artist, there are too many who are lazy. Who rely heavily on samples and remakes. Who use the music you grew up on to get you on their side.

And don’t get me wrong, a good sample can go a long way. But just as important as it is to be able to identify a hit and use a classic to make one from time to time (that’s why we love Tribe Called Quest’s jazz-inspired tunes and Kanye West’s music from 2004-2010, right?), it’s also important to know when you’re doing too much. Do people really want to hear another version of “Lady Marmalade”? Doubt it. Especially not with the ladies Ora mentioned.

And considering that Patti LaBelle has already let the world know she’s not a fan of today’s divas, whom she called “little heifers” who can’t really sing, I doubt she’ll give Ora and her lily-White lineup her blessings.

Back to the drawing board. And for once, please, make your own sh*t.

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  • Lost Soul

    Fugee-La sampled Ooh La La La by Teena Marie.

  • DonnaDee

    If it ain’t broke don’t try to fix it.

  • Gabriel Chagas

    They have the girls just need talent now.

  • Creole Seasoning

    Rita Ora sucks, Iggy sucks, I kinda like Miley but none of these ladies have enough soul to fill the shoes of Labelle or even the mya, lil kim, pink, and christina remake…. Sit down ladies. Find a Cher song to remake

  • Girl stop!!!!

  • Masterpieced

    Do not touch perfection.

  • Totally85

    I don’t even call today’s singers and film makers artists because I consider artists to have their own sense of creativity and originality that is solely there’s. Now every single thing is a remake, update, sequel, prequel, reboot, remix, sample… The author hit the nail on the head.

  • Mr. 215

    Well, honestly it’s been done already, and done well in fact, so good luck trying to top it. But if they did I’d keep an open mind and at least listen to it. I wonder if it was rita, Rihanna, Adele, and Nikki, would folks be so quick to judge and not even give it a chance. I wonder?????

    • Masterpieced

      Lord you LOVE you some white women!

      • Mr. 215

        Gosh, with the racial stuff!! I’m about being fair, which you obviously have no intention of being. You pretty much answered my question though, thanks! SMDH!!!!!!

  • Charla

    I agree with most of their article besides the sampling of music. Honestly, most people probably aren’t even catching that a melody is a sample of a song from 30 years ago. Now, a song a decade ago, probably. But after 20 years, it’s not the most recognizable.

  • WeekzGod

    Concept is decent. A good cover of a classic song is always appreciated. Not the three artists I’d pick for that though….

    • Masterpieced

      Nope. It is still too relevant to be remade.

  • themeowster

    Mainstream artists are some of the least creative people out there, but people love catchy tunes and general mediocrity, so they keep buying this crap.

    • MonicaT

      I agree the music of today is driven by the old mighty dollar! All you need is a catchy hook ok music behind it and there you have a hit! Oh don’t forget have an outrageous look to go with it. This music of today has no substance nor is it creativity or originality.

  • hollyw

    Uhhhh Vickie U..? No need for an ‘analysis’ on this one lol.

    We can all agree it’s gone be TRASH.

  • BayAreaBlase

    But miley can’t sing at all and she has no s*x appeal. And people shouldn’t make Iggy the go-to female rapper at all. For some reason I see Nicki killing it. Make this remake multicultural and full of talented people Rita like yourself! Cuz if you do it the way you currently want to do it, it will be dreadful and a disaster.

    • hollyw

      Girl, that’s CLEARLY Nicki’s spot! She’d come so hard for Iggy…or maybe not. Cuz seriously, she wouldn’t even need to, after everybody else bashed the shxt out of this remake.

    • Masterpieced

      Lord. Why are black folk the only race who LOVES to be multi-cultural. Guess what? A BLACK Female group made it the hit that it is!

  • TotallyTaurus

    Ahhh no…nah…naw…heck no…I’ll be doggone no! Oh wait, did I say no. Aside from needing artists to be original, some artists need to stay in their lane!

  • Momma Dee Tha Q.U.E.E.N

    And watch it FLOP like a fish on dry land. What’s next the listed will do a remake of Sparkle or Dreamgirls? Am I reaching like Rita is or is what I’m suggesting possible?

  • Harlemite

    Rita OraL is a mess. These new artist are wack. I’ve noticed since my job started playing old skool music in the backround in the office, alot of music I THOUGHT was original is HEAVILY sampled! I feel as if I have been lied to my whole life lol. The last straw was when I found out TLC’s Waterfalls was a remake. I’m over it. Creativity is a thing of the past

    • Lost Soul

      Who originally made Waterfalls?

  • Ashley

    I don’t really care to much about the use of samples or remakes. I’m more surprised that she really wants to basically do an all white remake of this song. You would think considering the times, she might think differently. And then look who she names, its almost like its a joke. Artist known for appropriating. Interesting. At least the original remake had a little diversity.

    • hollyw

      That was my first thought. I actually had to Google “charlie xcx” just to confirm lol smh!

  • Guest360

    It will never work. Not just because it’s a rip off but because exactly ZERO of these girls have singing talent to pull it off or any s*x appeal. The remake worked with Christina, Mya, and Pink bringing the pipes and Lil Kim rapping over the hook. We’ve established Iggy is irrelevant lol. Miley and Charlie can’t sing worth anything. And Rita has yet to make a record that stands on its own. Just no…I’m not here for this collaboration at all lol.

    • Masterpieced

      I did not like ANY remix of it.

  • pragmatic maxim

    An imitation of an imitation is only that much further removed from the thing in itself. Socrates and Plato are probably groaning in their graves right now

    • BayAreaBlase

      Oh so true. Oh so true

  • cecil toungsi

    Rita, miley and iggy , these girls try so hard to be us. Unbelievable. The worse is in few years, the white media will misinform people by saying: ” Lady marmalade” was made originally by those three impostors.

  • Lee1

    What this article speaks to is the lack of talent in US entertainment overall. I am glad we still have “real” artists still out there doing it like the fabulous Ms LaBelle. It is shameful and sad, but I’ve mentioned it before . . . it’s all about the look and the outrageousness – not about talent. The only “Lady Marmelade” I still listen to is LaBelle – we will never hear another group like that again and it’s because, I think, that music and the appreciation of it is not being taught in schools anymore, and that goes for other art appreciation. It’s all a part of the “dumbing down” of america. That’s the plan and its working. It’s corrupted everything . . . music, movies, books. A few really good things get through but not many. This is becoming one sad a**ed country for real.

  • Live_in_LDN

    Haha Rita Ora, Iggy and Miley are like the holy trifecta of all that is rotten in pop music. I kind of want them to do it, because i’m curious of how bad it actually can be.

    • hollyw

      Me too lol…I want them to do it, just so they can finally get the collective outrage they’ve been deserving since forever. Like, seriously?? An ALL-white remake, bishes?! LOL bring it!

  • Simone Mackey

    Nah……..I’m good

  • rondav77

    Gee….do I want to hear a re-make featuring a singer whose music I’ve yet to hear (Rita Ora,) a trashy culture thief whose tongue is probably infested with who knows what(Miley Cyrus,) and another culture thief and closet racist posing as a rapper (Iggy Azalea?) Hmmm….let me think….I’m thinking no!

  • Anonymous

    Jidenna’s ‘Classic Man’ purposely “stole” the beat from ‘Fancy.’ Janelle Monae and Jidenna stated that they wanted to “take back” what Iggy appropriated from us. I’m here for it.

    • cecil toungsi

      That’s true. They say that they stole back our sounds from Iggy. I liked the idea too.

  • Ce1999

    No. I don’t think Patti would accept this.

  • ApMillz-CT

    If she wants today’s artist to be original why would she want “Iffy” in the remake?? I’m so done with these white bish’s trying to remake Our $h!t! Rita Sl0ra have a damn seat!

    • Lee1

      It’s what they have always done. With few exceptions, they have always “ripped” us off.

      • Masterpieced

        True. Elvis ripped off Jackie Wilson. I had to play Jackie for a Filipino friend who did not believe me. She was so shocked to hear Jackie.

  • Niesha

    First off.. NO! Hell to the NAW, ALL TRASH artists.. smh..