Who would have ever suspected that the guy behind "The Time (Dirty Bit)" would play fast and loose with using other artists' material?
Will.i.am's new single with Chris Brown, "Let's Go," met with instant derision from EDM fans for its note-for-note appropriation of the Russian DJ Arty's 2011 single with Mat Zo, "Rebound" (listen to a side-by-side comparison below).
Today, in an interview on KIIS-FM (102.7), the producer and singer admitted using the track, blaming confusion over a previous attempt to sample and license the song for his own use.
"Arty is a dope producer, so I wrote this song to 'Rebound' this last year," he said, as Billboard noted. "I got in touch with Arty and ... I asked him [to] make it newer 'cause I don't just wanna take your song and rap over it."
Their efforts went south, however, and the formal collaboration never materialized. After "Let's Go's" release, however, Arty took to Twitter to claim that Will.i.am had never formally licensed the song from his label, Anjunabeats: "They never cleared rights through Anjunabeats, who's only one label, who ownes the rights for "Rebound."
In the KIIS interview, Will.i.am agreed that "Something happened, and the clearance... hopefully, we resolved the issue."
Brown, for once not the main villain in a music-news story concerning him, tried to stay clear of the whole thing, tweeting that he was merely asked to sing on the track, and "I don't listen to that ... half the time anyway."