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Should Fans have Rights to Social Media Posts?

Should Kendrick credit fans for inspiring song lyrics?

Social media definitely has its strengths when it comes to creativity, networking, and communicating with millions of people across a variety of topics. However, what is the particular line drawn between freedom of speech and plagiarism if an artist essentially steals an original thought from any fan who may have expressed their excitement or anticipation for certain music releases. As someone who’s heavily present on social media, it’s not uncommon to witness users’ tweet their own lyrics as to what they may expect from their favorite artists, but what happens if a fan realizes that their favorite artist used their original thought without them receiving any compensation?

Therefore the true question remains: Should fans have rights to the posts they make? What if an artist uses their material in their music and receives excessive revenue? This sparked debate was analyzed when Kendrick Lamar released one of his latest diss tracks, “Not Like Us,” against Drake, and came under fire when certain fans realized that he, now nicknamed “Kendrick [‘Plagiarism’] Lamar,” allegedly stole from their posts/material. Complex reported that @mladyfootlocker wrote in a 2121 tweet, “Certified Lover BOY? More Like Certified Pedophile” And @Cammyiceee tweeted back in 2016, “If she listen to Drake she a OVHoe.” According to XXL.com, the same user recently tweeted, “Damn @kendricklamar can I get in the writer credits???”

Alexis Avery, 25, has been a long-time fan of Lamar, but since his recent diss tracks with familiar social media user posts, she feels that artistry is becoming less unique. Also, that it’s unfair for someone to take a lyric from a fan and not acknowledge them.

“Social media is so different now when it comes to ownership and individuality. Everyone claims they don’t want to be the same, but then they do things like steal tweets to put in their music,” Avery said. “Kendrick hasn’t even publicly acknowledged these fans or given credit when it’s clear that some of his material was sourced from the internet. I understand artists can draw from creativity everywhere, but fans shouldn’t be discarded.”

Micheal Young, 23, expressed his speculation of AI usage in rapper’s releases and the extinct someone would go to win a battle rap; even if it’s balancing the line of plagiarism or unoriginality.

“Kendrick knows exactly what he’s doing. If you’re going up against Drake, you need to bring every trick out of the book,” he stated. “AI has been recently trending, which I’m not putting past any rappers to use; maybe he did grab some lyrics from there. But I don’t think it’s cool to not give compensation when credit is due.”

The intertwining realities of social media and the music industry are changing right before our eyes. Will Lamar respond to these allegations? Will he give credit to the fans? Guess we’ll have to stay tuned to see what happens next.

 

By Kori Barnes, University of Southern California

Instagram: @korixnicole

 

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Written by Kori Barnes

Hi! I can eat an entire jar of pickles in one setting and I LOVE to binge watch shows on Netflix. One of the most important quotes to me:
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