The producer was speaking to the Associated Press about this week’s ruling at the US District Court in Los Angeles, where Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams were ordered to pay nearly $7.4 million to Marvin Gaye’s family after a jury determined their 2013 hit ‘Blurred Lines’ copied elements of the R&B icon’s 1977 single ‘Got To Give It Up’.
Dupri co-produced ‘U Got It Bad’ in 2001 with Bryan-Michael Cox, while ‘I Bet’ was released last January. “Ciara’s new single is a complete rip-off of Usher’s ‘U Got It Bad’,” he said. “I’m clear on what I made and I’m clear on how music influences people and I’m clear on chord changes and how people move things…It might not be as evident as the ‘Blurred Lines’ situation, but I believe the same thing happened to me.”
Dupri also compared ‘I Bet’ – which was produced by Harmony ‘H-Money’ Samuels and Chris ‘TEK’ O’Ryan – to R&B singer Tamia’s 2004 track ‘Still’, another number he and Cox produced. Dupri says he, Cox and Usher will be asking to be credited.
Click below to listen to ‘I Bet’, ‘I Got It Bad’ and ‘Still’.
The ‘Blurred Lines’ trial came as a result of a pre-emptive lawsuit filed in August 2013 by Thicke and Williams who, fearing the Gayes would be litigious, sought to affirm that the track is “strikingly different” to ‘Got to Give It Up’. US District Judge John Kronstadt denied their request and said a jury must decide “the intrinsic similarity of the works”.
During the trial, which began on February 25, Williams spent more than an hour describing his musical process and he how he came to write ‘Blurred Lines’, which took him about one hour in 2012. Though he admitted a similarity between the track and ‘Got To Give It Up’, he said the Gaye song never entered his head during the writing process, merely that he was “channelling… that late-’70s feeling”.