He stated he would never take anything from anyone.
Two entertainment greats came together to have a casual conversation about music. Hitmakers Rick Rubin and Pharrell Williams chatted on a sunny afternoon about being inspired and creating hits, and during their conversation, Pharrell talked about his plagiarism controversy. Last year, a jury ruled that Pharrell and Robin Thicke copied Marvin Gaye's 1977 classic track "Got to Give it Up" when they created "Blurred Lines." A $5 million judgment was issued against the musicians, and Pharrell shared that it was a moment that "set [him] back."
"Stevie Wonder told me you gotta get the right musicologist in there because juries don't understand," Pharrell recalled. "It's very technical what you've done." Rubin chimed in and said "Blurred Lines" is nothing like "Got to Give it Up." Pharrell agreed and added, "But the feeling was." Rubin said you can't copyright a feeling before the pair agreed that all salsa, reggae, and trap songs pretty much sound the same.
“And it hurt my feelings because I would never take anything from anyone. And that really set me back," Pharrell added. About the two tracks, the mega-producer said, "Rayon and silk feel the same, but we understand that there's a clear difference... I really made ["Blurred Lines"] feel so much like ["Got to Give it Up"] that people were like, 'Oh, I hear the same thing.'"
“It’s bad for music because we’ve had an understanding of what a song is, and now based on that one case, now there’s a question of what a song is,” Rubin replied. “It’s not what it used to be because in the past, it would be the chords, the melody, and the words would be the song. And your chords, your melody, and your words...none of them had anything to do [with "Got to Give it Up"]... It leaves us as music-makers in a really uncomfortable place making things because we don’t know what you can do." Pharrell said: "I failed you." Watch the clip below.