Rain’s “Busan Woman” Accused of Plagiarizing Raphael Saadiq’s “Detroit Girl”


Rain’s latest single, “Busan Woman,” has been at the center of controversy lately for allegedly plagiarizing U.S. R&B singer Raphael Saadiq’s 2004 single, “Detroit Girl.”

Since its release on August 16th, “Busan Woman” has been noted for the similarity in style to “Detroit Girl.” Industry officials and fans have been saying, “Except for the name of the city, both songs have similar titles, rhythms, melodies, arrangements, and instrumentals. In particular, the beginning part and chorus are strikingly similar. It’s almost like an adaptation of each other.”

In response to the plagiarism allegations, however, Rain’s management agency told E-Daily, “The neo-soul genre could cause misunderstandings because they all have similar sounds, but it’s definitely not plagiarized. It’s just regretful that this song, that’s supposed to be sort of Rain’s gift to his fans before enlisting, had to be involved in this type of rumor.”

The co-writer of Rain’s “Busan Woman” also said, “I have nothing to say about the plagiarism allegations. I don’t think there’s any reason to respond to it. I’ve never heard of ‘Detroit Girl’ and actually it’s my first time to learn who Raphael Saadiq is. I’m very upset that my song is being called plagiarized. The song just followed a normal format and there’s really nothing special about it. The codes may be similar, but if that warrants plagiarism allegations, then every song should be called plagiarized.”

If you listen to each song, the chorus part where it goes “Bu~san yuh~ja (Busan woman)” does sound somewhat similar to Saadiq’s “De~troit Girl~” part. The structure of the songs and the background electronic piano sounds are also similar to each other, but it’s hard to tell if they’re copied off each other.

“Busan Woman,” Rain’s first single in 16 months, is registered as co-written and produced by Rain and an unnamed person that goes by “A.” There hasn’t been any mention of sampling or buying the rights of other songs for this track. Here we have the video of each song, so feel free to listen and compare the songs!