Smug Turd of a Pop Song 'Blurred Lines' Has Now Ruined the Music Industry

Universal/Interscope/Star Trak
The "Blurred Lines" single cover art
It was bad enough when Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams tried to ruin the summer of 2013 with their smug turd of a pop tune, "Blurred Lines." But that was just one summer, and it was somewhat redeemed by Pharrell's other big 2013 collab, "Get Lucky." Within a few months, we forgot what rhymes with "Hug me" and moved on.

But this time, they've really gone and done it. By losing in the "Blurred Lines" versus "Got to Give It Up" copyright lawsuit, Thicke and Pharrell are going to jack up the entire music industry, opening the floodgates to all sorts of frivolous plagiarism claims that will take years to sort out.

A bit of background, in case you've been sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber for the past month: The estate of the late Marvin Gaye sued Thicke, Pharrell, and rapper T.I. as the songwriters behind "Blurred Lines," because the Gaye estate felt (and pretty much the entire internet agreed) that it was a blatant ripoff of Gaye's 1977 hit "Got to Give It Up." Yesterday, a jury agreed, ordering Pharrell and Thicke to pay the Gaye estate more than $7 million for copyright infringement. (T.I., because his contribution consisted only of a guest rap, was exonerated.)

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Pharrell and His Hat Celebrate a "Happy" SNL Birthday


Last year may have brought about the global triumph of Mrs. Carter, the facepalm-inducing skeeviness of Robin Thicke and the tongue, cultural appropriation and subsequent redemption of Miley Cyrus, but Pharrell and his hat are the reigning pop juggernauts of 2014. He got Meryl Streep to shimmy at the Oscars. He's convinced the world that a chirpy, chipper song from a kids' movie can be enjoyed by listeners of every age. His sartorial choices have spawned a plethora of memes and Twitter accounts, and "Happy" and the rest of G I R L show no signs of dropping from the Billboard Hot 100 anytime soon. The only thing surprising about Pharrell's Saturday Night Live performance is that it didn't happen sooner, and that a NBC page didn't get roped into wearing a giant foam suit in the shape of his infamous Buffalo topper.

See also: Miley Cyrus Redeems Herself on SNL

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Forget Justin Timberlake and Destiny's Child -- Timbaland and Pharrell Are Back!

So, Justin Timberlake and Destiny's Child dropped two singles over the weekend, and people who mostly grew up in the last decade rejoiced. Everybody else was like, "What the hell is this all about?"

Both these major pop entities haven't dropped new music in a long while. Timberlake, who hasn't released an album since that monster hit FutureSex/LoveSounds in 2006 and has been spending his time trying to be a movie matinee idol, had people worrying he might end up being the white-boy version of D'Angelo. Meanwhile, Destiny's Child hasn't released any music as a group since their 2004 album Destiny Fulfilled. I'm sure we all assumed the show on those three were over since Beyonce Knowles went on to become THE BIGGEST POP DIVA OF ALL TIME. So, why the hell would she need to get the band back together again?

See Also:
-12 (More) Big Deal Albums We're Hella Excited For
-Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, And The Shifting Nature of Pop Star Fandom
-I'm A White R&B Singer From Red Hook, Brooklyn: Should I Even Bother?

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Radio Hits One: "Baby Got Back" And 20 Years Of Ass-Themed Hits

20 years ago, the Seattle-based rapper Sir Mix-a-Lot was doing pretty well as a mid-level star of the burgeoning west coast hip-hop scene, coming off of two successful albums and a series of rap radio staples like "Posse On Broadway" and "My Hoopty." In February 1992 he'd just released his third album, Mack Daddy, and its moderately popular lead single, "One Time's Got No Case," when he made a decision that would change his life—and, dare I say, the world: He released the track "Baby Got Back" as a single, and spent most of the attendant video standing astride a gigantic prop ass. Within a few months, the song had topped the Hot 100. (No other Mix-a-Lot single before or since has reached higher than No. 70.) That put "Baby Got Back" in the anal annals of history as the most famous butt-themed hit song of all time, though it's had ample competition in the two decades since.

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The Top Ten Failed First Singles Off The Game's The R.E.D. Album

This list began as a joke, but the longer I contemplated it, the more depressing its basic concept became. Consider: not only could I easily string together ten of Game's fruitless attempts to force label executives to release The R.E.D. Album, his followup to 2008's LAX; I had to make decisions about which ten to include. If you can think of a more damning condemnation of both commercial gangsta-rapper woes and major-label wastefulness, I'm all ears.

For mid-level major-label rappers like Game, keeping your fans satisfied while they wait impatiently for a product you keep desperately promising is right around the corner has become a melancholy fact of life. Unless you currently have at least two Top Ten hits currently floating in the radio-playlist soup, your album is a theoretical construct, no more "around the corner" than universal health care.

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GOOD Friday: Kanye West Reaches Back For Child Rebel Soldier's "Dont Stop!"

In May of 2007, Kanye West, Pharrell Williams and Lupe Fiasco released the Thom Yorke-sampling "Us Placers" as the super-group Child Rebel Soldier (CRS) on West's Graduation-teasing Can't Tell Me Nothing mixtape. Seven months later the trio put out a video for the song. Then for three years, save a remix, silence. Like The Commission, Crooklyn Dodgers and Fantastic Four before them, CRS seemed like a broken hip-hop promise. Fast-forward to this Friday and Kanye West, traveling in Japan and possibly caught in a lurch with his weekly promise of new music, dusts off Child Rebel Soldier's "Don't Stop!" for public consumption. Or let's just hope it's old because Lupe says he's a hero "like Jack Sparrow."

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Barack Obama Was Really, Really Happy to Meet Pharrell Williams

God bless America. All photos via BBC.
And the award for best life this week goes to N.E.R.D's Pharrell Williams, who spent Monday night inducing Anna Wintour and Oprah to dance at the Met Gala after party, only to then head south on Wednesday to take part in the White House's Cinco De Mayo celebration. He even met our president, who frankly looks thrilled at the encounter. So, for that matter, does Pharrell--when is the last time you saw dude looking that shy? Nice slippers, P:

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Proof That Anna Wintour Actually Danced During Diddy and Pharrell's Performance at the Met Gala After Party?

Second from the left, no? Credit: BBC
It's not quite Katie Couric busting the world's most unseemly move, but the above photo would seem to be evidence of Vogue editrix Anna Wintour's ability to clap her hands in a somewhat demonstrative and possibly even rhythmic way. Or is it just a lookalike, standing next to a kind of Drew Barrymore/Anne Hathaway hybrid? Page Six reports that Wintour was indeed on the scene Monday night for Pharrell and Diddy's Met Gala after party at the Mark Hotel. Later, Combs apparently "grabbed Anna Wintour into the deejay booth." Perhaps that's what's being depicted in this photo here:

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