Robin Thicke Tries to Escape Plagiarism Charges by Giving Pharrell Overdue Credit for 'Blurred Lines'
Robin Thicke is having a rough year, separating from his wife, weathering accusations of misogyny and rape culture, and that whole embarrassing Paula release.
Back in May of 2013, the singer did an interview with GQ and discussed the origins of Blurred Lines, the controversial single he made with Pharrell Williams (and for which Thicke receives songwriting credit above Williams). Whn asked about the song’s origins, Thicke replied:
“Pharrell and I were in the studio and I told him that one of my favorite songs of all time was Marvin Gaye’s Got to Give It Up. I was like, ‘Damn, we should make something like that, something with that groove.’ Then he started playing a little something and we literally wrote the song in about a half hour and recorded it. The whole thing was done in a couple hours—normally, those are the best ones. “
Isn’t it nice that Robin gives Marvin Gaye credit for inspiring him? Well, I should specify that at that particular moment Thicke was happy to give credit, because since then, he’s gotten a little stingy. Perhaps feeling a little paranoid, in August 2013 Thicke, Williams and another co-writer preemptively sued Gaye’s family (and Bridgeport Music, who owns/noted the song’s similarity to a Funkadelic song), to stop anyone from claiming Lines had been plagiarized. You got that? They sued to make sure they couldn’t be sued themselves. But Marvin Gaye’s family wasn’t put off, and they did in fact countersue…and what do you know, Thicke is more than ready to share his songwriting credit. In fact, he’s pretty much passing it all on to Pharrell and saying, “Hey, you’ve got the wrong guy! I was too drugged up to write anything.”
Say what? That’s right, according to transcripts obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, after the Gaye family suit kicked into gear, suddenly Thicke remembered he was too out of it to have possibly written anything. While he admits to *thinking* he was in the room at the time to sing, Thicke is pretty sure he had nothing else to do with the song.
“Q: Were you present during the creation of ‘Blurred Lines’?
Thicke: I was present. Obviously, I sang it. I had to be there.
Q: When the rhythm track was being created, were you there with Pharrell?
Thicke: To be honest, that’s the only part where — I was high on Vicodin and alcohol when I showed up at the studio. So my recollection is when we made the song, I thought I wanted — I — I wanted to be more involved than I actually was by the time, nine months later, it became a huge hit and I wanted credit. So I started kind of convincing myself that I was a little more part of it than I was and I — because I didn’t want him — I wanted some credit for this big hit. But the reality is, is that Pharrell had the beat and he wrote almost every single part of the song.”
Well there you have it Pharrell, this whole mess is now all yours! (In fact, in his own deposition Williams does — when asked directly — say he created the song.)
The Gaye family seems ready to go full steam ahead with their countersuit, and their motion sums up events rather nicely:
“Thicke, for his part, now claims he made all of his statements while drunk or on drugs, none of them true, and he mentioned Marvin Gaye only to sell records…He also actually testified that he is not an honest person. This complete contempt for the judicial system, and their obligations to tell the truth, can best be summed up by Thicke’s ultimate admission, while under oath, that he ‘[does not] give a f—k’ about this litigation.”
You can read more in great detail over at THR, but you may leave feeling a little blurry, yourself.
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