Recycling Rhymes : Pastiche or Parody?

December 7, 2016


They say that imitation is a form of flattery but when it comes to music lyrics does a bigger issue arise? Confiscating lyrics from a completed song could potential be random, subconscious, unintentional, intentional and sometimes just plain lazy?


When I hear beat or even sounds that resemble music I can hear words. Now are those words that of another artist I heard before or are they my own. Based on my own experiences I could make the argument that some people will hear the same chatter. Still I find an issue with the lack ethics involved. Yes believe or not there is a code of ethics involved therefore ethical issues arise within the music industry and unfortunately from what I have seen some people are ethical corrupt. Then there is the legal aspect of it all, how much of the song can you used without being sued? However for those answers you have to do your own research. I am more focused on the intent behind recycling rhymes.


Now historically, I'm being facetious, a lot of artist have used a line but on at least two occasions I have heard Drake use multiple lines from other artist What bothers me is a lot of his fans may not know who Rappin 4 Tay & Too $hort are therefore it would be easy for listeners and fans to conspire that Drake is a music genius thinking he wrote the lyrics.  Am I the only one a little annoyed by that? Granted in at least one of the instances a lawsuit ensued and 4-Tay was ordered payment for his lyrics. ( I would hope that Drake would have been smart enough to have gotten permission from Short and paid the man up front before he used his work. Don’t get me wrong I think Drake is PFA (Pretty Fuckin Awesome) l and I’m not knocking the hustle numerous artist, past, present and almost definitely future, have and will recycle rhymes. Nonetheless whether you are recycling, biting em, or just to lazy to write em, like any written work you should to cite your source. Even just making mention or reference would be better than trying to disguise them as your own. Respect is earned but it should most certainly be given and more than anything artist should be held to the ethical standards set in place. No one likes having their work stolen if nothing else if you plan to borrow or you just don’t want to write them make sure if nothing else you write that check.

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