National channels Eminem in election ad

HAMISH RUTHERFORD
Last updated 12:37 20/08/2014
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There's nothing quite like a rap battle. But is National's new ad too close to Eminem's Lose Yourself?

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National has released its first campaign video but the music backing the rowing-themed video is ringing a familiar tune to some.

Shortly after the video was released today a former Beehive staffer noted that the video "sounds suspiciously like a tune from an angry white rapper". They supplied a link to a YouTube video for Eminem's Lose Yourself.

Music critic Simon Sweetman said the music was clearly similar.

"I wouldn't even say it's been that 'professionally done' to quote [Prime Minister John] Key with regard to DW's [Wellington guitarist Darren Watson] Planet Key song," Sweetman said.

"It's a cheap copy, slowed down just a touch too - gets done a bit in advertising - poor man's versions to avoid paying rights." 

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Lose Yourself's key message is somewhat inspirational. It tells how Eminem overcomes his personal problems to gain the respect of other rappers. It was the theme tune of 2002 hit movie 8 Mile.

But Eminem is a highly controversial rapper, accused of being homophobic, with one of his songs seeing him taking on the persona of a deranged fan who kills himself and his pregnant girlfriend.

Elsewhere he has rapped about killing his mother and joked about singer Christina Aguilera's sex life.

US musician Moby has described Eminem as a "misogynist, a homophobe, a racist, and an anti-Semite" sparking a feud between the pair.

National Party campaign manager Steven Joyce said the music had been bought and licensed through an Australian-based organisation which had full rights to it.

The party had also undertaken its own checks to ensure there were no copyright issues.

"Some people are saying it's similar and that and that's fine for them but it's just a commercial track which we've used in the campaign."

Joyce said he was "very relaxed" about the choice of music and denied any association with Eminem.

"Nobody has raised concerns with us about it."

The music had been used in three separate television campaigns in New Zealand recently, though he could not name those.

National has got itself in trouble before for its choice of music. In 2007 it was warned about a piece of music marking Key's first year as leader that sounded similar to Clocks by British group Coldplay. 

Check out the videos and decide for yourself:

 

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