My impression was that Robin Thicke’s big hit “Blurred Lines” was meant to be an awesome tribute to Marvin Gaye’s 70s smash “Got To Give It Up.” Sampling and re-creating classic hits has been such a mainstay for the music industry for the past 30 years now, that I thought most people had probably stopped taken notice of it. Not Marvin Gaye III, who it appears will be taking legal action against Thicke, who initiated a lawsuit against the Gaye family.
It’s no secret that Thicke is a fan and has been influenced by Gaye’s music. He’s said it in countless interviews and it’s apparent in the sound of his music. Is “Blurred Lines” a straight rip-off of Marvin’s “Got To Give It Up”? Take a look at these two videos, or more so, listen to both songs and you be the judge.
In an interview with GQ’s Stelios Phili, Thicke explained: “Pharrell and I were in the studio and […] I was like, ‘Damn, we should make something like that [“Got to Give It Up”], something with that groove.’ Then he started playing a little something and we literally wrote the song in about half an hour and recorded it. Him and I would go back and forth where I’d sing a line and he’d be like, ‘Hey, hey, hey!’ We started acting like we were two old men on a porch hollering at girls like, ‘Hey, where you going, girl? Come over here!'”
Marvin Gaye III talked to TMZ about Thicke’s lawsuit, and pointed out the sound of the compositions for Thicke’s “Million Dollar Baby” and his dad Marvin Gaye’s “Trouble Man” in this interview. Gaye never actually says he’s going to counter-sue, but strongly eludes to it, expressing that he’s getting his business in order:
Jazz artist Nicholas Payton weighed in on the subject too, see here: http://nicholaspayton.wordpress.com/2013/08/17/thickes-got-to-give-it-up-pt-2/ Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” video had to endure some flack for it’s topless participants, however, I still think it was well done AND it was orchestrated by female director Diane Martel. A censored video was released to calm the restless and annoyed. Martel is the lady behind the camera for Thicke’s new video too, which brings us to his song “Give It 2 U.” Hmmm… “Give It To You” – “Got To Give It Up”… anyway, the clip shows Robin topless this time in a few frames, and takes on the same tasteful jovial dynamics of the “Blurred Lines” clip. Take a look…
Thicke has worked with rapper Lil’ Wayne in the past. His two latest tracks feature guest appearances from T.I. on “Blurred Lines” and 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lemar on “Give It 2 U.” “Blurred Lines” marked Robin’s first Number-1 song on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. He told the magazine, “I am absolutely thrilled that ‘Blurred Lines’ has reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100,” he continued, ” I am so grateful to all of my fans.”
Conversation is still lingering among the general public and amidst music professionals about Thicke’s performance with Miley Cyrus at Sunday’s VMAs ala MTV. Cyrus continued her current twerking excursion, that the world first saw her do on stage with rapper Juicy J a few months ago. Thicke arrived at the annual video music awards show with his wife Paula Patton, his CD “Blurred Lines” is in stores now. It’s his sixth studio album, following “A Beautiful World”; “The Evolution of Robin Thicke”; “Something Else”; “Sex Therapy”; and “Love After War.”
UPDATE 8/30: Paparazzi caught up with Thicke later that night after the VMAs with a fan. The controversial eye-brow raising shot that hit the tabloids afterwards, with Robin’s hand in a fan’s ass — naughty, naughty — below at the end of this blog. Take note of the reflection in the mirror to the left in particular — I enhanced it with an additional photo on the right below.
UPDATE 9/23: Stevie Wonder shares his thoughts on Gaye VS. Thicke, saying the Gaye family should not have pursued the case:
UPDATE 3/10/15: Taken from FORBES website after the results of the lawsuit… “A jury awarded Marvin Gaye’s children $7.4 million, determining that Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams copied Gaye’s music to create Blurred Lines. It was the biggest song of 2013, earning over $16 million and counting. Rapper T.I. and the record company were cleared of infringement charges, but not Williams and Thicke. Ironically, the case started with a race to the courthouse in 2013.
That’s right, Pharrell and Thicke started as plaintiffs in August 2013. Their suit attempted to stop Gaye’s family from suing for copyright infringement. However, the suit was thrown out when Gaye’s family showed the two songs were similar. The money at stake is considerable, and so are the reputation issues. The Los Angeles Times said Blurred Lines earned $5.6 million for Thicke, $5.2 million for Pharrell, another $5 million to $6 million for the record company, and $8 million more in publishing revenue. Gaye’s children, Nona, Frankie and Marvin Gaye III, initially asked for $40 million in damages, but reduced their claim to $25 million.”