Eminem trial: Metal riffs rock High Court

It's free to sit in on court proceedings, but a cover charge wouldn't have been out of place on Monday at the High Court in Wellington.

Hits from artists including Megadeth, One Direction, Slayer, Coldplay and Justin Bieber rang out as the legal rap battle between Eminem and the National Party raged on.

Dr Kirsten Zemke, University of Auckland ethnomusicologist appeared as an expert witness for BeatBox, the company which licensed the track 'Eminem Esque' to the National Party for its 2014 election campaign.

Kirsten Zemke, ethnomusicologist (Newshub.)
Kirsten Zemke, ethnomusicologist (Newshub.)

Eminemesque by name as well as sound, the track bears a remarkable resemblance to the rapper's 2002 'Lose Yourself'.

Dave Mustaine of Megadeth (Getty)
Dave Mustaine of Megadeth (Getty)

To prove musical coincidence is commonplace in pop, Dr Zemke compared different parts of popular songs with similar tempos, time signatures and tunes.

Tunes played to the court on Monday included:

  • 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' and the 'ABC' song
  • One Direction's 'What Makes You Beautiful' and 'Summer Nights' from Grease
  • David Guetta's 'When Love Takes Over' and Coldplay's 'Clocks'
  • One Direction's 'Midnight Memories' and Def Leppard's 'Pour Some Sugar On Me'
  • Justin Timberlake's 'My Love' and 'Where Are You Now' by Diplo and Justin Bieber
  • Slayer's 'Angel of Death' and Megadeth's 'Holy Wars'.

The final two in that list both feature "the drop" as the drums kick in, explained Dr Zemke, typical of thrash metal.

Kerry King of Slayer (Getty)
Kerry King of Slayer (Getty)

A medley of songs using the same chord progression was also played, including melodies from James Blunt's 'You're Beautiful', the Black Eyed Peas' 'Where is the Love', Alphaville's 1980s hit 'Forever Young', Train's 'Soul Sister' and The Calling's 'Wherever You Will Go'.

Those songs, and many others, were infamously combined by comedy group Axis of Awesome in their medley '4 Chords'.

Lawyers for both sides will spend Tuesday and Wednesday preparing closing arguments, which are scheduled to be delivered on Thursday and Friday.