This Week In Music (V.26): Lawsuits

Welcome to another edition of This Week In Music. I’ve been absent from blogging this past Friday due to being sick, but I’m back at it. Be sure to check out my Maroon 5 concert review HERE and last weeks edition of This Week In Music HERE.

robin-thicke-blurred-lines-music-videoSo the headline of this week was the outcome of the Robin Thicke/Pharrell lawsuit against Marvin Gaye’s family. For those living under a rock, Marvin Gaye’s family were suing Pharrell and Robin Thicke for the illegal use of their fathers song, ‘Got To Give It Up’ in the 2013 summer smash, ‘Blurred Lines’. When I first heard the song I immediately thought that was what it sounded like. Well the verdict came in and Marvin Gaye’s family won LARGE. For the track to have made $16 million, the family got $7.4 million of that.

This case might be closed, but the Gaye family could be going after Pharrell’s solo smash, ‘Happy’. Gaye’s daughter says that its reminiscent of her fathers track, ‘Ain’t That Pecuilar’. Now listening to the song, yes they do sound similar, especially how each track begins. After winning $7.4 milioin is the Gaye family just being greedy? I think that ‘Blurred Lines’ was spot on ‘Got to Give It Up’. As for this one, I think that a soul clap does not account for a song being ripped off. I can hear the similarity, but not as much as ‘Blurred Lines’. If this were to go to court this surely could put into question Pharrells 20+ year as a producer. Then again, his work has never been in question before.

Listen to the similarities below:

ciara_articleWith a lawsuit win like this it’s a wonder how many other songs artists have ripped off. Jermaine Dupri feels that Ciara ripped off his track for Usher, ‘U Got It Bad’. With news of Marvin Gaye’s family winning a lawsuit like this, Jermaine Durpi is speaking out. In an interview with the Associated Press he stated:

“Ciara’s new single is a complete rip-off of Usher’s ‘U Got It Bad.’ I’m clear on what I made and I’m clear on how music influences people and I’m clear on chord changes and how people move things. It might not be as evident as the ‘Blurred Lines’ situation, but I believe the same thing happened to me.”

I stated in my review (click HERE for that) that the song sounded a lot like ‘U Got It Bad’, especially during the hook.  It’s nothing wrong with being inspired by another artists contribution to music, but it is wrong to put out a track and pass it off without giving credit. Hopefully these two can hash everything out without it having to go to court.

Listen to the similarities below:


Beyoncé Shares Her Memorial Day Playlist

Queen Bey has decided to share some of her favorites for Memorial Day via her official website. Enjoy the list below:

  1. Earth Wind and Fire- September
  2. Frankie Beverly and Maze- Joy and pain
  3. Mtume- Juicy Fruit
  4. Michael Jackson- Rock With You
  5.  Aretha Franklin- Chain of Fools
  6. Marvin Gaye- Got to Give it Up
  7. Stevie Wonder- Superstitious
  8. A Tribe Called Quest- Bonita AppleBum
  9. Aaliyah- Back and Forth
  10. Total- Can’t You See
  11. Solange- Losing You
  12. Too $hort- Blow the Whistle
  13. Juvenile- Nolia Clap
  14. Kanye West- We Major 

MMF Celebrates Black History in Music — Feb. 20

There are songs that are write for love, heartbreak, happiness, and then there are those written about world peace and current events in the world. There are two classic songs that come to mind when I think of those two topics and it’s Marvin Gaye’s, ‘What’s Going On,’ and Michael Jackson/Lionel Richie, ‘We Are The World.’


‘What’s Going On,’ came from a depressing time in Marvin’s life after losing friend and singing partner, Tammi Terrell. The song was released on January 7, 1971 and in its first week it had sold 200,000 copies. It was #1 for five weeks on the Billboard R&B Charts and #2 on the Hot 100.

The song was nominated at the 14th Annual Grammy Awards for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists. It was remade in 2001 for Artists Against Aids World Wide on October 30, 2001. A portion of the proceeds benefited the American Red Cross’ September 11th fund.


Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie along with Quincy Jones teamed up for the USA For Africa track, ‘We Are The World.’ The track was released March 7, 1985 and went on to sell over 20 million copies.

The song featured vocals from Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Cyndi Lauper, Stevie Wonder, and dozens more. The album won 4 Grammys at the 28th annual awards: Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Best Pop Performance by Duo/Group w/ Vocal, Best Music Video (Short Form).

The song was remade in 2010, We Are The World 25 for Haiti.

MMF Celebrates Black History in Music, Feb. 15

There have been a lot of artists to collaborate and make duet songs that have stood the test of time such as Lionel Richie & Diana Ross with ‘Endless Love,’ and Donny Hathaway & Roberta Flack with ‘The Closer I Get to You. It goes beyond just R&B and R&B/Hip Hop collabs have become very popular since the new millennium. I wanted to highlight 3 duos that made a big name for themselves as duets rather than solo artists.

While Marvin Gaye had a solo career he teamed up with Tammi Terrell to make some of the best love songs of all time. Their hits include: ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, ‘You’re All I Need to Get By,’ and ‘Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing.’

The duo only released two albums, United (1967) and You’re All I Need (1968), due to Terrell’s health issues. Tammi Terrell passed away March 16, 1970 due to complications with brain cancer at 24 years old. Marvin went on to continue his solo career before his untimely death in 1984.

Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson are more known for their songwriting than for their collaborative work as a duo. They have released 10+ albums and are most commonly known for their smash, ‘Solid (As a Rock).’

Aside from performing together the duo has written music for: Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell, Diana Ross & The Supremes, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Teddy Pendergrass, Chaka Khan , and more.

Ike and Tina Turner are known for a tumultuous relationship, but their music is not to go unnoticed. Over the course of a nearly 20 year career as a duo they released 20+ albums and hits such as ‘Proud Mary,’ and ‘Nutbush City Limits,’ gave them mainstream success.

‘Proud Mary’ earned the duo a grammy at the 14th Annual Grammy Awards (1971) for Best R&B Vocal Performance after receiving two nominations in 1961 and 1969. Their songs, ‘River Deep-Mountain High’ and ‘Proud Mary’ have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.  The duo was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1991. Although they departed musically and personally they both received stars on the St. Louis Walk of Fame. Tina received a star for her solo work on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1986. As a solo act she’s earned 8 Grammys.