He mentioned the “Blurred Lines” lawsuit against Pharrell and Robin Thicke, and suggested that many celebrated white artists haven’t given proper credit.
The conversation that was jump-started by Diane Warren is still simmering on Twitter and recently, Questlove chimed in with his take. We previously reported on Warren, a songwriter with an undeniable and unmatched legacy in the industry, questioning why 24 writers were needed on a track. She was seemingly referencing Beyoncé’s Renaissance album that hosts several samples throughout, causing the list of people credited to be lengthy as writers and producers of each track received recognition.
This is something that Warren is, expectedly, well-versed in as she has written for artists like Mariah Carey, Cher, Patti LaBelle, Ciara, and dozens of others who have taken over No. 1 spots on global charts.
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The-Dream immediately answered Warren’s call and educated her on how historically, many Black artists would sample or interpolate productions into their own music due to the inability to collaborate from lack of finances. Warren returned to say she wasn’t trying to be shady, but some believed that she was acting willfully ignorant about an industry where she is a leading force.
Meanwhile, Questlove has added his voice to the discussion and brought up the controversy over “Blurred Lines,” which sparked a lawsuit by Marvin Gaye’s estate against Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke. The artists lost the suit.
“In these post ‘Blurred Lines’ times you’re gonna see a lot of it,” said the musician. “I actually applaud her giving people a seat at the table who otherwise woulda NEVER been considered otherwise. Like she didn’t ‘have to’ credit the ‘Show Me Love’ crew but just outta respect she did them a solid.”
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Michael Harriot added, “If white blues, folk and rock musicians paid & acknowledged the Black artists they stole from, some of the songs from Diane Warren’s youth would also have 24 songwriting credits.” Quest replied, “Imagine if Led Zep, The Stones, Beatles, British Invasion did the due diligence——-and credited the people to whom their catalogue is derivative from? [smiling emoji].”
Someone told Quest that Beyoncé needed to add other names to her list of credits as well, and while he seemingly agreed, he also didn’t believe that people were targeting the right person.
“Yeah. Unfortunately the burden of industry rules shouldn’t be on Bey’s shoulder,” wrote Questlove. “I believe remixers should get credit for reimagining a song. And writers should get credit if they wrote a song (I get your point but both of those problems existed way before Bey came along.”
He added that he hopes Renaissance wins a Grammy “so all 400 participants” can get their moment in the sun. Check out the ongoing conversation below.