Pharrell Williams 'You Can't Trademark A Groove'
March 5, 2014 at 12:56 PM (PT)
In an interview with HIPHOPDX, PHARREL WILLIAMS addressed his legal battle with MARVIN GAYE's estate over ROBIN THICK's "Blurred Lines" song, "I have the utmost respect for MARVIN GAYE and his music and he is one of the patriarchs. He is one of the best, but here is the thing--you can't trademark a groove. If I play a song which a lot of my new hip hop records are--that's done in 6/8 time signature, CHARLIE PARKER's family is not going to sue me for that. Do you understand what I'm saying? If I do a salsa beat right now, I know that RICKY MARTIN's family is not going to come looking for me. That's what we are dealing with."
PHARRELL continued, "We are dealing with the idea that someone feels like a groove is proprietary and it is not. Music is, and the notes are, and when you look at sheet music, then you'd know. And just for a bit of humor, the percussion that I used on "Blurred Lines" aside from the music notation being completely different, completely different--the sheet music is available on line by the way, but the percussion, I was trying to pretend that I was MARVIN GAYE and what he would do had he went down to NASHVILLE and did a record with pentatonic harmonies and more of a bluegrass chord structure. So unfortunately there is no comparison between the minor bluesy chords he was playing and my major bluegrass-y chords and that's very plain to see for anyone who can read music."