Two point nine billion and then some.
That’s how many streams Bruno Mars‘ song “Uptown Funk” has on YouTube. Even though he’s scored numerous hits throughout his career, the 2014 single could be credited with making him one of the biggest artists in the world.
But according to Angie Stone, Mars stole the song “Funk You Up” to make the colossal hit, which is a cut released by her all-female rap group The Sequence in 1979. Stone and the group sued Mars over the tune last year and is now seeking a jury trial.
But the R&B singer said her suit isn’t just about money, it’s about the pop star giving respect to three women songwriters who deserve it.
“Just a credibility to Bruno Mars, I think he’s a great artist. We love Bruno Mars,” said Stone with her Sequence member Gwendolyn “Blondie” Chisolm standing next to her. “This is not about Bruno Mars for us, because you can’t take that away from him. However, when it comes to the history of hip-hop and our contribution, you can’t just take people’s stuff and walk with it. This isn’t about trying to bash him or hurt him, but we want our respect. We want our props. We made history and you can’t re-write that.”
Stone was then asked why she only had a problem with Mars and not Mark Ronson, the producer who also worked on “Uptown Funk.”
“When you work together, two birds of a feather flock together, so yes they both knew,” she explained. “As a matter of fact, Bruno acknowledged The Sequence in a tweet very long ago, saying ‘This was influenced by The Sequence,’ and they all went on to do a Billboard article that said ‘This was inspired by The Sequence.’
This isn’t the first time Mars has been sued for the hit single, because the funk bands Zapp and Collage have filed suits as well. But unlike The Sequence, they were given writing credits on the song, as well as The Gap Band.
In regards to “Funk You Up,” Stone says the suit is also about honoring hip-hop history and it’s pioneers, which is why she’s so passionate about it.
The song was sampled by Dr. Dre for his 1995 cut “Keep Their Heads Ringin” for the “Friday” movie soundtrack,” which Stone also mentioned in the interview.
“Bruno Mars is quite young, so he might be pushed into a lot of stuff,” she theorized. “Do your research on the songs. You felt like since Dr. Dre did it with ‘Keep [Their] Heads Ringin,’ [you could do it]. He was wrong too … But at the end of the day, do your homework ’cause you’re a brilliant artist, but you need to respect the game and we are the game.”
You can check out Mars and The Sequence’s song below to listen for any similarities.