The Difference Between Flattery & Stealing, The Lorde & Kanye Debacle

Hey, can I borrow your style bro?

The difference between Flattery and stealing is a thin line, a line so thin, some people don't even see it. Let's try something: Take those flamin' hot cheeto dusted fingers and let's explore a little bit, search on Instagram, #aestheticart, what do you see? Search on Soundcloud 'Trap", what do you hear?

You'll notice that even with those two little examples, you'll see and here what seems to be tons of copies of the same vibe, whether it's the overuse of pink and gore or the overwhelming sense of an everlasting bass drop from the depths of hell.

I admit, as a creator myself, to feel the pressure of constantly needing to think of something new and exciting makes me simply want to put my craft of the shelf for a week at least. It's daunting and stressful to constantly have to think of something fresh that no one has seen before, which is pretty much impossible.

I stumbled upon a situation a few months back that I've been wanting to touch on for a while but didn't know exactly how to go about because I know this is a very opinionated topic. But the idea of flattery and stealing are constantly hanging in the balance and I want to set some things straight.

The situation I'm referring to happened to be between Lorde and Kanye West, two musicians that have a fan-base we should all be a bit frightened by.

Oh, let's not forget Kid Cudi was involved as well.

Back in November Lorde called the two collaborating artists out, specifically Kanye because of a large clear box that was used to hang over his performance as a statement piece filled with dancers. Kanye used this set piece back at the Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival and it was a hit, but Lorde disagreed because of how similar it was to her own stage set up back on her last tour.

While it was discovered rather quickly that the same stage designer Es Devlin is shared between them, it still sparked the question: what's the difference between flattery and stealing?

With the age of the internet surrounding us completely, it's hard to really say what a difference between two creations could be. It seems so much easier to copy and hide the fact now than it ever has before. With that being said it also seems like we're in an age where credit needs to be given where credit is due.

Credit should never be left behind, it's more important than ever, it's not an excuse, but it is something to dwell on as a creator in the new year. Let's reflect and seek inspiration and grow into our own this year.

Here's how to avoid falling into the same fate many have tried to get away with.

1. Research

If you think you've done enough research before you post your project, site, art, music, etc: you haven't.

2. Credit

If you want to post something as a tribute or are heavily inspired by something, is it really that dang hard to just credit them? Who knows, they might even see it themselves and you might end up with a cool connection.

3. Questions

If you're not sure whether or not your creation resembles somebody's work that inspires you or something that exists already, either see point 2, don't post it, or revise and make it more of your own!