Jack White Just Realized DJ Khaled’s “Wild Thoughts” Is a “Maria Maria” “Rip-off”

Jack White, DJ Khaled
  • Save

In a baffling attack on DJ Khaled, Jack White has argued that his 2017 pop smash “Wild Thoughts” is an exact copy of Santana’s “Maria Maria”.

Jack White’s exact claim was that DJ Khaled’s “Wild Thoughts” is “just Santana’s song in its entirety”. But sadly for the former White Stripes general, nobody ever really contested that.

Because the minute DJ Khaled’s remake hit the airwaves last June, it was glaringly obvious what had happened. Santana’s crisp guitar riffs and Wyclef Jean’s groovy, Latin-inflected beat from the original had just been reincarnated.

Rihanna’s sultry vocals and Bryson Tiller’s fuss-free bars provided the extra spice needed to create an instant contender for song of the summer.

“Wild Thoughts” doesn’t just sample “Maria Maria”. It is practically a cover that uses a different set of lyrics. And fortunately for the We The Best magnate, he has never tried to tell anybody any different.

Santana’s “Maria Maria”

Dj Khaled’s “Wild Thoughts”

One would shudder to imagine that, in an age where copyright lawsuits are seemingly being filed for fun, DJ Khaled used Santana’s hit without first having sat all the principals around a table.

But the hotshot beat-maker was as prudent as they come. He obtained all the necessary clearance and even got said principals to co-sign his table-topping remake.

In short, it’s obvious “Wild Thoughts” is practically “Maria Maria”. Nobody has an issue with it. Not the 600M+ viewers who flocked to Youtube to watch it, and certainly not the creators of the original.

Santana, Wyclef Jean and The Product G&B are all credited on “Wild Thoughts”. While giving the new song his blessing, Santana said:

“There is a reason that the infectious groove/theme that Wyclef and I created on ‘Maria Maria’ still resonates today. It speaks to the heart. DJ Khaled, Rihanna and Bryson take that vibe and bring it to a new dimension with ‘Wild Thoughts’, but the groove and essence of the song is still intact.”

In essence, what he meant was that he was happy DJ Khaled and co. hadn’t made too many adjustments to the song. He went on to add:

“I am honored that DJ Khaled, Rihanna & Bryson felt the intense intentionality of ‘Maria Maria’ and have shared this summer vibe with the world.”

So then Santana is actually glad “Wild thoughts” is “just ‘Maria Maria’ in its entirety”. Not only has the x-factor that made the 1999 release such a sensation been preserved, but also it’s been shared with an entirely new generation of music fans.

+ Jack White Is Banning Phones at His Shows — Fans Will Have to Keep Them In Sealed Pouches

 By dissing DJ Khaled for achieving what he specifically set out to do, Jack White has simply played himself. If he had any appreciation of the Miami DJ’s art, he’d know that’s something to never, ever do.

  • Save



6 Responses

  1. Dave Melges

    Ummmm, but c’mon. The thing starts off with Khaled saying “we the best music” then he yells his own name, then just plays other people’s music.

    ANYONE could do this. I could teach my CAT to do this. This could be done by accident…we’re supposed to what, give him credit for recognizing someone else made something cool? No. I personally don’t care that Santana thought of it as a compliment…the “song” starts off with text that gives NO credit to the real artists. It’s theft….even if the people being ripped off ok’d it, we have to have higher standards than this. I know I do.

  2. Pitbull v. Khaled

    Who’s worse: DJ Khaled or Pitbull? Answer: DJ Khaled, who delivers TOTAL schlock while screaming ‘I’m grateful!’ and ‘you played yourself!’.


    • MTR

      “appreciation of the Miami DJ’s art, he’d know that’s something to never, ever do.”

      What art?? DJ Khaled just steals music of actual musicians and says stuff. How is this art?

      • just my opinion

        its even laughable that this person who wrote the article is defending khaled’s “art” considering he doesn’t really dj anymore like he used to, nor does he produce or make beats. he didn’t even chop up or loop the samples himself (which was done very lazily within a few bars, a slight alteration to the pitch and simple programmed drums added. oh wow, so “artful”.). the writer of this article can’t be serious lol when khaled can actually do sampling and beatmaking on an artful level like lets say a flying lotus or even a b-level producer like hi-tek or do actual dj’ing then i can take khaled’s “art” seriously

  3. Kaylie

    Jack is just highlighting how ridiculous it is that we praise “artists” who don’t contribute anything truly unique to the world.

    “Baffling attack”? No. Just the truth and something people should be aware of. And entirely justified coming from a musician who has dedicated his life to music and bringing the truly great stuff out for the world to hear, which stretches far beyond his own music.

  4. just my opinion

    i think you’re missing the point. the point isn’t that khaled stole santana’s song without clearing the sample, nor that khaled pretended that it was anything new or different. the point is obviously that khaled is getting praise for a creation that isn’t his. the point is that this is lazy music making. the point is that khaled contributed nothing to this song except yelling his name. this song is barely even a cover, its just the original maria maria looped in a couple of bars with programmed drums and vocals from rihanna and bryson on top of it all. it might as well be a freestyle. a cover, especially a creative cover, would be kamasi washington’s cover of debussy’s clair de lune. a cover would be jimi hendrix along the watcht tower. those are real covers. and if you want to argue that dj’ing and sampling is an art form, khaled is not a good example at all. hes the worst example. dj qert is an respectable example of dj’ing. dj shadow or the avalanches or madlib are respectable examples of using sampling as tool to create something new or different. the only person whos played themselves is you caping for khaled as if the man has contributed anything creative or unique to music. he yells hes the best and uses his connect to bring artists on his songs and producers to make the music, then puts his name on it. thats all he does. hes worst than diddy. this article defending and trying to refute jack white’s valid criticism is WEAK. take your L