Will.i.am Rips Off Arty & Mat Zo’s ‘Rebound’ for Latest Single
If there really is no such thing as bad publicity, then the furious attention around Will.i.am’s new album #willpower is exactly what he wanted. What’s more likely is that his decision to brazenly and blatantly rip off Arty & Mat Zo’s 2011 Trance hit “Rebound” for the fifth track from his album, “Let’s Go” has resulted in a larger and angrier backlash than he expected.
Since the news broke yesterday, social media has been ablaze with furious comments and criticism both from within the music industry and the wider public. Chris Brown, who features on the Will.i.am single, has pleaded ignorance commenting on twitter:
The irony of this is that in attempting to jump on the ‘EDM’ bandwagon, his obvious plagiarism immediately creates tension and resentment, instantly distancing himself from a large group of listeners that he was presumably attempting to appeal to. Also his timing of this is impeccable, when all forms of EDM (horrible word) has mainstream attention greater than at any point in the last 10 – 15 years, possibly ever. If the label Anjunabeats decides to take legal action over this or loudly denounce him and demand compensation, as they are entitled to, the negative press attention over this will go even further backing Will.i.am in to a corner, and it almost certainly won’t end well for him.
The general feeling around this is that Will.i.am deserves whatever negativity he receives for his actions. If following this commercial artists think twice before ripping off other artists work then at least some good will come from this.
Fuss Over Nothing? Judge for Yourself
If you have not heard the 2 songs in questions, here is Arty & Mat Zo’s “original” (Rebound) followed by Will.i.am’s offending track “Let’s Go”:
Arty & Mat Zo – Rebound
Will.i.am feat. Chris Brown – Let’s Go
2nd May Update
Official statement from Anjunabeats:
” Anjunabeats is the record label behind Arty and Mat Zo and owns the master recording rights to their collaboration “Rebound.” Mat Zo and Arty have been important members of the Anjunabeats family for a number of years and “Rebound” was one of the label’s most popular releases in 2011.
As has been widely reported, a large section of “Rebound” was sampled onWill.i.am‘s track “Let’s Go featuring Chris Brown” and this took place without the permission of Anjunabeats or Arty & Mat Zo.
Although Arty (but not Mat Zo) was credited in the sleeve notes, this is not the same as obtaining permission. To present someone else’s work as your own, you need to seek permission, agree terms and file paperwork, which has not happened in this case.
We’ve remained silent on this issue until now but as a record label it is our obligation to protect our artists’ interests and we felt it was necessary to respond to some of the inaccuracies that have been reported following Will.i.am‘s recent comments to Associated Press. “
5th August Update
In an inteview with Vibe published today, when asked whether the turmoil with Will.I.Am had been resolved yet, Arty responded:
” Haha! I don’t know about that… but it’s in the past now. If he’s a fan… I hope he enjoys my new single. But only for him to listen to. “