The controversy surrounding Robin Thicke seems like it is never going to dissipate. It is just one scandal after another with this guy. I almost feel sorry for him — "almost" being the key word there. Now he has Pharrell Williams embroiled in his streak of bad luck. Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams lost the first round of their "Blurred Lines" lawsuit against Marvin Gaye's estate. Originally, Gaye's family accused Thicke and Williams of stealing from Gaye's song "Got to Give It Up" for their hit "Blurred Lines." After receiving threats from the estate, the singers filed their own lawsuit and Gaye's family counter-sued. The Gaye family believes that Robin Thicke has a "Marvin Gaye fixation," and they may not be wrong. In addition to accusations against Thicke's song "Blurred Lines," there are previous claims of him ripping off other Marvin Gaye songs. Gaye's children claim that Thicke used elements from Gaye's song "After the Dance" for his song "Love After War."
The judge overseeing the case concluded that the family's claims really do have merit and that the two songs are very similar when it comes to "bass lines, keyboard parts, vocal lines, melodies and harmonies." Wow, that seems like quite a lot of similarities. Now, there is a trial scheduled for Feb. 10, 2015. On top of Paula Patton filing for divorce, I'm sure this is the last thing Robin Thicke wants to deal with. But it's not the first problem he has received from this song. Let's check out some of the many "Blurred Lines" controversies.
The Lyrical Content
There is no denying that "Blurred Lines" was the song of summer 2013. It was on all six of my radio presets every single time I was in the car and I could not help bopping along. A song that popular is bound to be discussed. Many people felt that the lyrical content promoted rape. The scandal lies in Thick repeatedly saying "I know you want it" without any actual justification that she really does want it. Yes, you cannot always give full context to a situation through song lyrics, but there are definitely some questionable holes in the plot here. Even if you do not believe that the song condones rape, Thicke does sing "Just let me liberate you" with a strong implication that sex is the way to do that. Thicke claims that he was high on Vicodin and alcohol while making the track and that he does not actually remember a lot of the process. Interesting how he is distancing himself so far after he found success with the jam. Perhaps it's in light of the legal conflict?
The Music Video
A music video can provide new context for a song. It can bring up points that you did not notice just through listening and provide more of a story line through the visual elements. The "Blurred Lines" music video did not quell any of the controversy from the lyrics. In fact, it started more drama and claims of sexism. For starters, Robin Thicke, Pharrell, and T.I. all appear fully clothed surrounded by topless women dancing. In a GQ interview, Thicke ignorantly said, "We tried to do everything that was taboo. Bestiality, drug injections, and everything that is completely derogatory towards women. Because all three of us are happily married with children, we were like, 'We're the perfect guys to make fun of this.'" So that was intentional? Thicke elaborated by saying, "What a pleasure it is to degrade a woman. I've never gotten to do that before. I've always respected women." Wow. I cannot even believe that he actually thought that was OK to say in an interview for a national magazine.
The VMA Performance
Miley Cyrus got a lot of the heat for her 2013 VMA performance with Robin Thicke, but the drama surrounding this three minute performance still lives on to this day. Thicke, a married man was getting his grind on with a twerking Cyrus, who was dressed to simulate the nudity in the music video. There was a foam finger and a lot of crotch grabbing. It was a lot for me to watch and as a Miley fan I am still a little scarred from it. Many people felt that the performance went too far and was disrespectful to Thicke's wife Paula Patton. In the wake of their separation, it has been reported that Thicke begged Patton to defend his performance in press interviews when she may not have agreed with it privately.
At this moment the intention behind the lyrics, music video, and that performance may be a little unclear. However, one thing is for certain, there are definitely no "Blurred Lines" when it comes to saying that this song didn't sit well with many people. Beyond the catchy beat "Blurred Line" definitely brings more bad than good to the table. It initially propelled Robin Thicke into real stardom, but now it continues to bring him down. It will definitely be interesting to see how the trial goes in February.
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