Sometimes when you haven’t blogged for awhile, you just have to pick something and get on with it. So, here are some rappers’ views on the ‘Blurred Lines’ verdict (which, if you’re not familiar, was explained excellently by my colleague Parker Higgins). Presented without comment.
I have mixed emotions because, you know, I love the sound of Mr. Marvin Gaye and I love the sound of Pharrell Williams and it’s delicate because I don’t know what happened. I wasn’t in the studio when he created the song. I know that I worked with Pharrell and he’s a very original and creative guy and whenever I worked with him he never listened to old music. We always made fresh music. I don’t know how to say what’s right, but I do know that I love and appreciate both artists and both musicians and I just love music.
And I don’t think that it takes away or diminishes any greatness. It nods to the fact that we are all human, no matter how great we are or how great our lineage are or how impeccable a bloodline we may come from, we all get it wrong at some point in time. And you know, I think this is one of those cases. Any kind of art, creative-based business, it draws from inspiration and inspiration is intangible. You cannot say what was inspired by something and if it should or should not have been inspired by something.
Art is something that’s made to inspire the future. If you utilize somebody’s artistic expression blatantly, to [the point] where it’s an identifiable thing, then there should be some sort of compensation to the person who inspires you
There should be a statute of limitations, because if I sample [Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas”] going, “I-I-I-I’m dream-dream-dream-dream-dream-ing / I-I-I’m dream-dream-dream-dream-dream-ing / Yo but she’s so fine, I keep dreaming about her/can’t go another day of living without her”—my song’s context and movement is totally different than what his song is about. Even though I use his portion as an instrument—because the sampler is an instrument—he should not be able to come in and take 100 percent of my song. The most he should get is 50 percent. There should be a cut off. Fifty percent is the most.
The Greeks could come sue everybody because one generation teaches the other. When you hear an A chord to the D to the E, there are over one million songs with that same progression. And each one of their songs is identified as their own. The point being that art will continue to inspire the next generation, and we will find duplication.