Mark Ronson conquered the world with his massive 2014 hit ‘Uptown Funk’ with Bruno Mars, but he’d have to be wondering if it was all worth the effort considering he’s just been sued once again for allegedly pinching some of its elements from another song.
As TMZ reports, Ronson is being hit with a lawsuit by Lastrada Entertainment, the owners of the rights to ‘More Bounce To The Ounce’ by Roger and Zapp, who claim that the first 48 seconds of the newer track are a clear infringement.
They argue that Mark Ronson has previously referred to electro-funk progenitors Roger Troutman and his band Zapp as an influence, but considering they worked with the likes of George Clinton and Bootsie Collins, they’ve probably been a significant influence on anyone who’s ever delved into the history of funk music.
The hip hop world, too, can cite the band as a huge influence, as their sound went on to inform the development of g-funk and hip hop beats for years to come, with Ice Cube referring to ‘More Bounce To The Ounce’ as his very first introduction to the sounds of the genre.
Did Mark Ronson steal from the funk icons?
Roger Troutman was tragically killed by his older brother and bandmate Larry in an apparent murder-suicide in 1999, but as is often the case with these cases, the lawsuit isn’t being pushed forward by the artist who wrote the original track, but merely the rightsholders.
Lastrada Entertainment is now demanding that the artists involved (sans Bruno Mars) and streaming platforms including Apple Music and Spotify “shut down future plays and sales”, and the company is also suing for an undisclosed sum.
The drama comes less than a year after Ronson was sued for infringing on the 1983 hit ‘Young Girls’ by Collage, while the production team also fended off legal action by The Gap Band by crediting its members for the similarities to their ’79 hit ‘Oops Up Side Your Head’.
“I don’t know what the deal is with that,” Ronson said after that credit was given. “When you have a hit people always come out of the woodwork to try to claim it. Whatever. I’ve never had a big hit before so I guess that’s what happens.”
Influential rap group The Sequence also noted distinct similarities to their ’79 track ‘Funk You Up’, but gave Ronson & Co. a slight break and decided not to pursue any legal action.
Check out ‘More Bounce To The Ounce’ above and ‘Uptown Fun’ below, and decide for yourself whether this latest case holds any water.