The song of the summer is Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines, which has spent nine weeks and counting at number one.
Blurred Lines is upbeat and bouncy and dance-y and summer-y… and oh yeah kind of offensive and rape-y if you pay close attention to the lyrics, but that controversy seems to have been blown away by commercial success.
Thicke is talented, and his first two albums were amazing if overlooked – until this point he was best known for being the son of Growing Pains sitcom star Alan Thicke. Blurred Lines is his commercial breakthrough, giving him his first number one album and first number one single.
As Blurred Lines took off commercially, people started to comment it sounded a lot like Marvin Gaye’s classic Got To Give It Up; so then what they should have done a la Madonna vs Gaga feud was let it blow over and be an SNL skit, but nope they didn’t.
So as rumours of a lawsuit started to build late last week Thicke struck first —- in a “pre-emptive” legal move (legalese for “douchey”), his team filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles requesting a ruling that Blurred Lines does not infringe on Got To Give It Up.
The lawsuit reads, “Defendants continue to insist that plaintiffs’ massively successful composition, Blurred Lines, copies ‘their’ compositions.”
The suit upset Gaye’s family members; Gaye’s son said “We’re not happy with the way that he went about doing business let alone suing us for something where he clearly got his inspiration from at the least. That’s caused my family a lot of duress.”
Now while I am no musicologist, I have listened to both songs back to back, and yes there is a similarity… but what is the line between inspiration and plagiarism? Between Born This Way and Express Yourself? Between Britney Spears and real music? That I don’t know.
Do I think there is plagiarism here? Not initially. Do I think Mr. Thicke is being a douche? Well he reportedly offered up a settlement to the Gaye family, and in a Rolling Stone interview earlier this year he cited Got To Give It Up as one of his favourite songs of all time, saying. ‘I was like, ‘Damn, we should make something like that, something with that groove.’… so now it’s not looking so good.
And the real crime here? It’s a mediocre song with a cheesy sexist video, and this is the song of the summer?
Thicke’s next single is called Give It 2 U… time to sue Prince and estate of Rick James!