Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

“Uptown Funk” gon’ give The Gap Band songwriting credits

Illustration for article titled “Uptown Funk” gon’ give The Gap Band songwriting credits

Many legal experts predicted the $7.3 million verdict against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams—for allegedly building “Blurred Lines” from Marvin Gaye’s spare parts—would have a “chilling effect” on songwriters. Apparently that effect is so chilling, even musicians as cool as Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson are taking bold precautions to insulate themselves against frosty accusations of copyright infringement. Music Week reports the addition of five names to the songwriting credits for Mars and Ronson’s inescapable smash “Uptown Funk,” hoping to avoid a potential copyright suit based on the song’s similarities to The Gap Band’s 1979 funk classic, “Oops Upside Your Head.”


Gap Band members Charlie Wilson, Ronnie Wilson, and the late Robert Wilson have been appended to the “Uptown Funk” credits alongside “Oops” co-writers Lonnie Simmons and Rudolph Taylor. They join the previously credited Ronson, Mars, Jeff Bhasker, and Philip Lawrence, as well as Devon Gallaspy and Nicholas “Trinidad James” Williams, whose “All Gold Everything” is sampled in “Uptown Funk.” Credit on the biggest song of 2015 (so far) is another win for former Gap Band frontman Charlie Wilson, who’s been enjoying a resurgence in popularity ever since Kanye West drafted him to sing vocals on most of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and on Yeezus’ “Bound 2.”

No word yet on whether the amendment was made in response to an actual threat of legal action, but due to Ronson and Mars’ preemptive strike, the world will now be robbed of awkwardly hilarious depositions detailing who may have been floating on a peaceful sea of prescription painkillers and booze when “Uptown Funk” was written. But there will be fierce debate in the court of public opinion, as armchair musicologists begin arguing over the similarities (or lack thereof) between “Funk” and “Oops.” Don’t believe us? Whatever, you know the rest of it.