Is “Blurred Lines” a Rip of “Got to Give it Up”? – You Be the Judge [POLL/VIDEO]
Shades of Chic vs. Sugarhill Gang!
Back in the days of disco, Chic released one of the period’s biggest anthems, “Good Times!”
Fast forward one year later to what became the dawn of rap when the Jersey trio, the Sugarhill Gang released “Rapper’s Delight” complete with infamous “Good Times” baseline.
This song, built around Bernard Edwards’ distinctive bassline, is one of the most copied and sampled records ever. Rap was emerging at New York block parties, and when Sylvia Robinson assembled The Sugarhill gang to put a rap song on record, it was “Good Times” that they used for the track, looping it in the studio just like DJs did at the block parties, and even incorporating the string hits from the song.
The result was “Rapper’s Delight,” which was released later in 1979. It sold a bunch of 12″ singles and made the US Top-40 and UK Top-10, becoming the first rap song to do so.
Nile Rodgers of Chic knew that his song was a block party favorite, but he didn’t hear “Rapper’s Delight” until he was in a club and the DJ played it.
He vigorously objected to the use of his song as the track for another, and threatened legal action. Rather than fight it, Sugarhill Records settled with Chic and awarded them full composer credit, so Edwards and Rodgers are listed as the only songwriters on “Rapper’s Delight.”
With no lawsuit, there was no precedent set for sampling, and artists began incorporating tracks from other songs with impunity throughout the ’80s. It was Gilbert O’ Sullivan whose 1991 lawsuit against Biz Markie finally established the legal ruling that samples must be cleared.
And if you listen to most hip-hop records, if you’re a record buff, sometimes you’ll hear a sample from some obscure record or another.
(Jaysonic, my producer, played for me one of his favorite hip-hop tracks which contained a sample of Cher’s “Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves!” Go figure!)
So now we have a battle brewing between Robin Thicke who filed a lawsuiet to defend his number one hit “Blurred Lines” from claims that it copies Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give it Up!”
Personally, I think “Blurred Lines” comes out on the short end.
First time I heard “Blurred Lines” I thought, “whoa….that’s “Got To Give it Up!”
Robin Thicke is asking a federal judge to determine his song “Blurred Lines” doesn’t copy from elements of two other songs.
Attorneys for Thicke and the song’s collaborators, Pharrell Williams and T.I., filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles on Thursday asking a judge to determine their song does not copy songs composed by Marvin Gaye and George Clinton.
“Plaintiffs created a hit and did it without copying anyone else’s composition,” the lawsuit reads.
The suit states representatives of the owners of copyrights to Gaye’s song “Got to Give It Up” and Clinton’s song “Sexy Ways” have warned Thicke that he and his collaborators have used elements of the songs in “Blurred Lines.”
“The basis of the Gaye defendants’ claims is that ‘Blurred Lines’ and ‘Got to Give It Up’ ‘feel’ or ‘sound’ the same,” the lawsuit states. “Being reminiscent of a ‘sound’ is not copyright infringement. The intent in producing ‘Blurred Lines’ was to evoke an era.”
You be the judge.
Does “Blurred Lines” copy “Got to Give it Up”
Got to Give it Up: