Thicke vs. Gaye vs. Thicke – Got to Give it Up

Robin Thicke performing at the MTV Video Awards in 2013 on the right and Marvin Gaye, in Amsterdam, in 1976. Image courtesy of the NYdailynews.com

Robin Thicke performing at the MTV Video Awards in 2013 on the right and Marvin Gaye, in Amsterdam, in 1976. Image courtesy of the NYdailynews.com

Can you hear the similarity?  Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams, and Clifford “T.I.” Harris are under fire, because their song “Blurred Lines” could illegally infringe on Marvin Gaye’s classic, “Got to Give it Up.”  Gaye’s family and estate have decided to say enough is enough after the conversation over how much Gaye’s music has influenced the music industry’s current soulful icon, Robin Thicke.

The scuffle began when Gaye’s estate started slinging stones at Thicke and his crew by exposing the similarities between their music and Gaye’s.  Funkadelic also weighed, in claiming that Thicke was stepping on the toes of their song “Sexy Ways” as well.  Thicke and company claim that they are simply making music within a genre, and that Funkadelic and Gaye do not own the rights the entire sound of Rhythm & Blues.  Thicke initially filed a suit against the Gaye family and Bridgeport Music and responded in a statement saying that they have “the utmost respect for and admiration of Marvin Gaye, Funkadelic and their musical legacies.”  Their suit is merely for the protection of the music and the artists that created it.

As if this didn’t seem prickly enough, the Gaye’s family responded with a counter suit against Thicke and his crew, although Thicke offered 6 figures to the estate to diffuse the issue, they refused to accept and move forward.  In lieu, the family has begun digging through achieves to expose all occurrences where Thicke has ripped from Gaye’s tracks.   Perhaps Thick and crew shouldn’t have been so open when discussing the extent to how much of an influence Gaye has been on his music.  Thicke has not been shy in the past when stating his affinity for Gaye’s music.  In the story of the inception of “Blurred Lines,” he went on to discuss how much he loved the song and how he should go ahead and create his own piece that might leave such an impact.  In a matter of a day, “Blurred Lines” was finished and ready to embark on a journey to become the biggest hit of the summer of 2013, going on to chart a record breaking 428,000 downloads in the week of June 23rd.

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2 Comments

  1. Mesha

     /  November 18, 2014

    We see this all the time! I feel like James Brown is another example. Brown’s lyrics and music are constantly being sampled, and most of the time artist aren’t paying to use it. There is no doubt that Marvin Gaye’s music is the inspiration for a significant amount of Thicke’s music. So, I’m glad the family is bringing this to light.

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