#MusicMonday | Paying Homage or Stealing Sounds?

In recent years we have heard an influx of artists 'borrowing' from the classics we all love. My question today is - where is the line drawn in between paying homage or just flat out ROBBERY? 

On one hand, you have rappers such as Drake. He has used and flipped whole verses from days of past, something Jay-Z caught hell for back in the day. Does he just have that much love for the OG's or does he get a pass because of his music notoriety? There have even been instances where he hops on a specific wave of a whole region and runs with it, Raggae for example. All this results in some great music, but does that excuse it? 


On another hand, you have your artists like Bruno Mars. This one has been a big issue with me. Now I do believe Bruno is a very talented singer and songwriter, however, it’s been noted that throughout his career he has taken a sound from each era and created projects based upon it. His most recent pick is New Jack Swing. New Jack Swing was created by the great Teddy Riley. It was a sound that shaped the 1990’s musically. Many have sampled it and remade a few songs, but not to this extent. Bruno is gaining even more stardom from a borrowed sound. Part of me gets happy because of the mainstream love the sound is getting again, but at the same time - it’s not by the hands of Teddy.

To be factual, Mr Mars made a name in the INDUSTRY by making hits OUT of hits of yesteryear.
— Bon Iver's Justin Vernon

Although these artists seem to be showing their respects, does it make it okay to take a whole sound and make it their own? There has become a large lack of originality in the industry as of late and the sampling is at large to blame (amongst a horrible selection of artists but that’s another story).

Granted sampling has been going on for years, the way artists go about it has changed drastically. I personally feel the need to make “hit” songs is killing the artistry of the industry. I believe that for a song to be a hit, originality and artistry are mutually important.

Where do we draw the line at in this genre fluid day and age?


- Kerrington “Mola-B” Hawkins