Black Eyed Peas Frontman will.i.am Accused of Plagiarism… Again
(Joel Ryan, Invision, AP)
It looks like will.i.am is about to be hit with another copyright infringement lawsuit. A Russian producer and DJ named Arty is accusing the Black Eyed Pea of stealing the tonal structure and hook of his 2011 song “Rebound” and using it in “Let’s Go,” which is featured on the track “Let’s Go” from will.i.am’s new album #willpower. And he’s got a strong case. Aside from a few notes, the tracks sound almost identical.
"Rebound" was produced by Mat Zo for Anjunabeats, the trance label run by dance trio Above & Beyond. Arty insists will.i.am never received sample clearance for the song or the label. "They never cleared rights through Anjunabeats, who's only one label, who owns (sic) the rights for 'Rebound.'" Tweeted Arty.
Will.i.am and his label Interscope have not yet commented, but in reaction to the plagiarism accusation, Chris Brown, who is featured on “Let’s Go,” Tweeted, "I don't even know who mat zo Or arty is I aint got s—t to do wit if ur mad or not. Someone asked for a feature on a record and I did it…. I don’t listen to that shit half the time anyway.”
In a Facebook post, Zo responded to fans, “You don’t need to defend me or Arty. Producers often wait their whole careers for a commercial act to f--- up and sample their track without asking permission. Arty and I are not bitter about this, more surprised. We knew will.i.am was interested in this track, but we declined working with him at this time. To conclude, perhaps it is better to invest your energy into supporting ‘Rebound’ instead of spewing s--- at will.i.am and Chris Brown.”
Arty isn’t the first artist to accuse will.i.am of unhealthy borrowing. British singer/songwriter Tulisa has filed suit against will.i.am for song royalties to “Scream & Shout,” which f features Britney Spears. And Dancingastronaut.com has pointed out that “Bang Bang” echoes the chord progression from the drop in the song “Epic” by Sandro Silva and Quintino.