Robin Thicke blurred the lines of truth about his role in writing his hit song. He admits he is not an honest person and, in a striking example of that dishonesty, finally reveals he did not collaborate with Pharrell Williams on Blurred Lines as he previously claimed. Instead, he admits he showed up to the studio in a drunken stupor and that, “Pharrell had the beat and he wrote almost every single part of the song.”
Robin Thicke became a sensation last summer with his smash hit Blurred Lines. He seemed poised to be music’s next big superstar. The song’s catchy beat overrode the controversial lyrics and video. Accused of being “rapey” for assuming that girls want sex, the song struck a bad chord with some feminists. When the video with half naked dancing models and bold sexual images was released it inspired further ire – but was also watched millions of times per day.
Because Thicke had not had a hit on the radio, his manager Jordan Feldstein came up with the idea of creating a music video that was sure to go viral. What is more guaranteed to be viewed on the web than topless women? As soon as Youtube banned the original video (it was later put back on the website with a warning) the song was a sensation, but the music more than stood up for itself on the radio. It spent 12 weeks as the number one song on Billboard’s Top 100 and also became the best-selling song of 2013.
The success of the song brought about legal troubles. Blurred Lines has a similar sound to Martin Gaye’s Got to Give it Up. and Funkadelic’s Sexy Ways. Thicke and Williams are currently embroiled in court proceedings with Gaye’s family and Bridgeport Music over copyright infringement issues. In an interview with GQ Thicke stated that he and Pharrell were in the studio when he suggested that they make something like Gaye’s Got to Give it Up; something with the same groove. Thicke claimed the duo wrote the song in less than an hour.
Williams admits that Blurred Lines is derivative of the other songs but denies any plagiarism. He states that the two songs are completely different with one in a minor key and one in a major, and that Williams should know since he is the sole creator of the song.
Thicke’s deposition in the lawsuit was just released to the public and is full of revelations about his role with the song and his state of mind during the media blitz to promote it. Despite claiming to the media that he and Pharrell wrote the song together, it appears that Thicke had very little to do with creating Blurred Lines. Thicke, Williams, and rapper T.I. shared writing credit on the album cover and Thicke concocted a story that the song grew out of a spontaneous, organic collaboration. Now it seems that the song was solely due to the genius of Williams and Thicke was grasping undeserved accolades. Thicke admits, “It became a huge hit and I wanted credit.”
Not only did Thicke have little to do with writing the song, but he was high when he recorded the track. According to Rolling Stone, “…the singer arrived at the studio in a drug-and-booze-induced haze, with Williams, ‘writing almost every single part of the song.’” Thicke has certainly blurred the lines of truth about his role in writing his hit song.
In addition, Thicke admitted to being on drugs during all his interviews through 2013 and most of 2014. He said he started the morning with Vicodin and drank vodka before interviews. He was high during his interview with GQ when he said Gaye’s Got to Give it Up inspired Blurred Lines and he was high during his famous interview with Oprah Winfrey. He says of that period in his life, “I don’t recall many things that I said. In fact, I was quite surprised when I read them back sometimes.” Thicke also claims that his drug use was the reason for his very public separation from Paula Patton.
Williams attributes the success of the song to Robin Thicke’s voice. Certainly Thick’s charisma helped to sell the video. The blending of singing styles of Thicke, Williams and rapper T.I. Made the song special. Williams chalks up the writing controversy to the nature of the music business. “This happens every day in our industry.” he said. Of course, along with sharing credit, Williams also has to share the royalties for the song, but perhaps promotion of a song contributes as much to its financial success as do its music and lyrics. Will Thicke’s drunk, dishonest story about writing the song now cost them millions?
Does it matter who wrote Blurred Lines? After all, in today’s society last year’s hit song is old news. However, the public prefers to trust musicians and artists. They would like give credit where it is due. Thicke’s admissions add to the scandal that has been accumulating around him since the release of the song. Some say that Thicke’s blurring the lines of truth about his role in writing the hit song will not win back his waning fans.
By: Rebecca Savastio